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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: New Lubricants Via Mono-Estolides

Authors
item Cermak, Steven
item Isbell, Terry

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 28, 2002
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: There has been an increased interest in vegetable oil based lubricants and functional fluids over the past few years. Vegetable based oil derivatives have many advantages over petroleum based products, such as wear properties and biodegradability. Some of the main problems with current vegetable based fluids are its cold temperature properties, pour and cloud points and cold temperature storage properties, which limits the geographical area that vegetable based fluids may be used. Estolides are one such derivative from new crop oils which show promise in industrial applications as functional fluids. Estolides have excellent low temperature properties when compared to mineral and vegetable based materials. The objective of this study was to synthesize a novel series of mono-estolides and compare the cold temperature properties to commercially available mineral and bio-based materials. Estolides are formed when the carboxylic acid functionality of one fatty acid links to the site of unsaturation of another fatty acid to form esters. Estolides were derived from a number of unsaturated fatty acids in the presence of low equivalents of acid with no solvent followed by the addition of 2-ethylhexanol in situ. The estolides were converted to their corresponding hydroxy fatty acid and the degree of polymerization was determined by GC analysis. In some cases, the mono-estolides were distilled from the larger poly estolides. The mono-estolides were then evaluated as potential lubricants and functional fluids. Physical properties (pour points, viscosities, color, OSI and RBOT) of these novel estolides were compared to previous reported estolides, which have current industrial applications as a potential functional fluid. The mono-estolides were found to have low temperature properties that exceeds the normal vegetable and mineral type fluids. A series of mono-estolides were formulated to the standards as a biodegradable fluid and were found to exceed the ones currently in the market.

Last Modified: 4/21/2014
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