While it has been known for several decades that levoglucosenone is obtained by the pyrolysis of cellulose, Circa have apparently developed a continuous pyrolysis process that produces the levoglucosenone more cheaply. Levoglucosenone possesses two chiral centres and this process produces pure (--) levoglucosenone. Levoglucosenone is a bicyclic oxygen heterocycle that contains a five, a six and a seven membered ring. There are a number of ways to draw it:
dihydrolevoglucosenone. They use a Parr hydrogenator with 100 g of palladium on charcoal catalyst. They do the hydrogenation neat (no solvent) and distill off 80% of the product. The other 20% remains in the flask and becomes part of the product for the next batch. Therefore the 100 g of palladium on charcoal catalyst is reused for each batch and they don't know yet how often it needs to be changed over. They soon plan to build a larger plant that can prepare 1 tonne at a time. They tell me that they have customers in the pharmaceutical industry who wish to buy dihydrolevoglucosenone to use as a dipolar aprotic solvent. They have published a paper on the use of this solvent and have measured it's BP at 202 °C.
At this point it is useful for me to list a few examples of known fragrance compounds and what they smell like. The acylated versions of fragrant alcohols are frequently used as softer versions of the more raw alcohol product.