In recent years, the rapid depletion of fossil fuels and the growing demand for aromatic compounds has led to an increasing interest in producing these compounds from plant sources. Lignin monohydrates, units of plant lignin, are important aromatic compounds that can be used to produce a variety of high value chemicals of commercial importance.
Methyl cinnamate is the methyl ester of cinnamic acid and is a white or transparent solid with a strong, aromatic odour. It is found naturally in a variety of plants, including in fruits, like strawberry, and some culinary spices, such as Sichuan pepper and some varieties of basil.
Cinnamic acid is a white crystalline compound that is slightly soluble in water and freely soluble in many organic solvents. Classified as an unsaturated carboxylic acid, it occurs naturally in many plants. It exists as cis and trans isomers, although the latter is more common.