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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

2010 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Establish different reaction protocols to insert branching and transesterification on triglyceride molecule of vegetable oil for use in the formulation of industrial/automotive lubricants with better lubricity, friction, wear, oxidation and low temperature properties. Such fluids include, but are not restricted to: (a) Bio-based Greases; (b) Synthetic Lubricants/Metalworking Fluids/Gear Oils/Undercarriage Oils; (c) Bio-based Specialty Additives. Investigate and develop economically feasible polymeric products from vegetable oils (with emphasis on soybean oil) and thus, expand their domestic and export markets. These biobased polymeric materials include, but are not restricted to: (a) Soybased composites reinforced with flax fibers; (b) Nanoclay reinforced soybased composites; (c) Polymeric surfactants derived from soybean oil; (d) Soybased hydrogel for controlled delivery system; and (e) Energy absorbing materials.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Research will focus on establishing different reaction protocols to insert branching and trans-esterification, on triglycerid molecule of soybean oil that will be used in the formulation of biobased grease, synthetic lubricants, metal-working fluids, biobased specialty additives with better lubricity, friction, wear, oxidation and low temperature properties.

Research will also utilize the principles of organic chemistry and polymer science to synthesize more reactive soybean oil based monomers. New types of polymers and composites will be developed. Resulting polymers will be used in controlled delivery systems and energy absorbing materials formulations.

3.Progress Report
This is the final report for the project 3620-41000-136-00D, a bridging project which will terminate in FY 2010, and will join project 3620-41000-117-00D to a future project. There has been a significant amount of progress covering both of the objectives of the original plan, to develop bio-based lubrication systems, and improve polymeric products of vegetable oil. Work has continued to accurately define the scope of intellectual property on the numerous docket disclosures that were filed last year. One of those disclosures has been moved from the deferred stage to the accepted stage during this year. A significant amount of work has been done with partners as well, where samples of lubrication fluids, adhesives, and polymeric materials have been sent. One of the Material Transfer Agreement’s from last year has led to a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) this year. That project will use elastomeric material from soybean oil and optimize it for use in a large product. Further work with another CRADA partner on the synthesis of a boron-based lubricant additive has continued, as well as fundamental work on development of bio-based lubricants.

1. Lubricating emulsions based on epoxidized soybean oil were developed. In order to form many of the products that are a part of everyday life, metals must be formed, a process that requires a lubricant or lubricating emulsion. Getting these emulsions to work requires that the lubricating oil and the water to form an effective combination instead of two separate layers. This requires the use of emulsifiers and other additives. Since most current metalworking emulsions are based on petroleum, there are many studies available to guide the formulator. However, the use of soybean oil in a lubricant is much newer, and many less studies have been done. Bio-Oils Research Unit scientists at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, IL, have reported the first lubricating formulation using epoxidized soybean oil. This mixture is able to reduce friction, even using concentrations of oil as low as 1%. This material also has the advantage that it is more stable than ordinary soybean oil, and this work serves as an important step in the expansion of soybean oil based lubricants into more industrial applications. Use of these new lubricants will decrease petroleum use and have positive effects on the health of workers and the environment.

Review Publications
Xu, Q., Liu, Z., Nakajima, M., Ichikawa, S., Nakamura, N., Roy, P., Okadome, H., Shiina, T. 2010. Characterization of a Soybean Oil-based Biosurfactant and Evaluation of its Ability to Form Microbubbles. Bioresource Technology. 101:3711-3717.

Liu, Z., Doll, K.M., Holser, R.A. 2009. Boron Trifluoride Catalized Ring-Opening Polymerization of Epoxidized Soybean Oil in Liquid Carbon Dioxide. Green Chemistry. 11:1774-1789.

Liu, Z., Erhan, S.Z. 2010. Ring-opening Polymerization of Epoxidized Soybean Oil. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. 87:437-444.

Erhan, S.Z., Sharma, B.K., Liu, Z., Adhvaryu, A. 2008. Lubricant Basestock Potential of Chemically Modified Vegetable Oils. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 56:8919-8925.

Liu, Z., Erhan, S.Z. 2010. Preparation of Soybean Oil Polymers with High Molecular Weight. Journal of Polymers and the Environment. 18:243-249.

Last Modified: 8/4/2015
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