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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: EXPANDING THE USE OF FATS AND OILS AS REPLACEMENTS FOR FOSSIL-DERIVED FUELS, LUBRICANTS, AND POLYMERS

Location: Sustainable Biofuels and Co-Products

Title: C18-unsaturated branched-chain fatty acid isomers: characterization and physical properties

Authors
item Ngo, Helen
item Dunn, Robert
item Hoh, Eunha -

Submitted to: European Journal of Science and Lipid Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 23, 2013
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
Citation: Ngo, H., Dunn, R.O., Hoh, E. 2013. C18-unsaturated branched-chain fatty acid isomers: characterization and physical properties. European Journal of Science and Lipid Technology. 115:676-683.

Interpretive Summary: Biolubricant products derived from renewable materials (e.g., vegetable oils) are in great demand and have witnessed rapid growth in recent years because of the high prices and negative environmental impacts of petroleum-based oils. Development of high-quality biolubricants is of critical importance in ensuring the continued well-being of the U.S. fats and oils industry. We have developed technology for the modification of oleic acid, a major component of vegetable oils and animal fats, to produce ‘iso-oleic acid’. Iso-oleic acids have excellent cold flow and lubrication properties, and can replace petroleum-based lubricants and are environmentally friendly.

Technical Abstract: Iso-oleic acid is a mixture of C18-unsaturated branched-chain fatty acid isomers with a methyl group on various positions of the alkyl chain, which is the product of the skeletal isomerization reaction of oleic acid and is the intermediate used to make isostearic acid (C18-saturated branched-chain fatty acid isomers). Methyl iso-oleate, a mixture of C18-unsaturated branched-chain fatty acid methyl ester isomers, is obtained via acid catalyzed esterification of iso-oleic acid with methanol. The branched-chain materials are liquid at room temperature and their ‘oiliness’ property makes them an attractive candidate for the lubricant industry. In this paper, we report characterization of these branched-chain materials using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC/TOF-MS) and their physical and lubricity properties using tribology measurements.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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