2008 Annual Report
Objective 1: Develop methods for the conversion of agrimaterials to platform chemicals. There are two aspects to this objective: a) the oxidation of seed oils to platform chemicals such as diacids and hydroxyacids; and b) the design and development of better catalysts for regioselective transformations, including the selective addition of aromatics to the double bond of unsaturated fatty acids.
Objective 2: Develop commercially viable processes based on critical fluids to convert ligno-cellulosic materials to fermentable sugars as well as convert vegetable oils to high-value products. There are two sub-objectives to this objective: a) develop commercially viable processes based on critical fluids such as carbon dioxide (CO2), water and/or ethanol to pretreat ligno-cellulosic biomass prior to its conversion via enzymatic hydrolysis to fermentable sugars; and b) use CO2-based critical fluids to improve the commercial viability of processes for enzymatically converting vegetable oils to high-value products such as feruloylated monoacyl- and diacylglycerides. Critical fluid processes will be evaluated for enhancement of these conversions and integration with downstream recovery processes for these high-value products.
A new group of catalysts have been developed that improves the selectivity of ether formation in the reaction of phenol with hydroxyfatty acids. These catalysts are bifunctional, consisting of an alcohol group and an acid group, and it is now thought that the function of the alcohol is to prevent the ether from reentering the active sites of the catalyst and isomerizing.
Carbon dioxide explosion experiments of ligno-cellulosic materials have been conducted on switchgrass using carbon dioxide at several combinations of pressure and temperature, as well as with ethanol. These materials will be subjected to hydrolysis and fermentation to determine differences in their subsequent ethanol yields.
An enzymatic reactor was designed and constructed utilizing supercritical carbon dioxide to improve the conversion of soybean oil to SoyScreen™. Using this reactor, the product yields using both static as well as cycling carbon dioxide were compared. The cycling carbon dioxide gave significantly higher yields than did the static carbon dioxide. This process will lead to higher yields of the product SoyScreen™. This research addresses NP 306, Component 2.
5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
Winkler, J.K., Rennick, K.A., Eller, F.J., Vaughn, S.F. 2007. Phytosterol and tocopherol components in extracts of corn distiller's dried grain. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 55:6482-6486. Eller, F.J., Taylor, S.L., Compton, D.L., Laszlo, J.A., Palmquist, D.E. 2008. Counter-current liquid carbon dioxide purification of a model reaction mixture. Journal of Supercritical Fluids. 43(3):510-514. Stevenson, D.G., Inglett, G.E., Chen, D., Biswas, A., Eller, F.J., Evangelista, R.L. 2008. Phenolic content and antioxidant activity of supercritical carbon dioxide-treated and air-classified oat bran concentrate microwave-irradiated in water or ethanol at varying temperatures. Food Chemistry. 108(1):23-30. Peterson, S.C., Eller, F.J., Fanta, G.F., Felker, F.C., Shogren, R.L. 2008. Comparison of the effects of critical fluid and reflux-extracted techniques on cornstarch pasting properties. Carbohydrate Polymers. 71(1):74-79. Jackson, M.A., List, G.R., Palmquist, D.E. 2008. Low trans fat spreads and shortenings from a catalyst-switching strategy. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. 85:481-486. Stevenson, D.G., Eller, F.J., Jane, J., Inglett, G.E. 2008. Structure and physicochemical properties of defatted and pin-milled oat bran concentrate fractions separated by air classification. International Journal of Food Science and Technology. 43:995-1003.