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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Current Perspectives on Oleochemical Carbonates

Author
item Kenar, James

Submitted to: Inform
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2004
Publication Date: September 1, 2004
Citation: Kenar, J.A. 2004. Current perspectives on oleochemical carbonates. Inform. 15(9):580-582.

Interpretive Summary: Currently, interest in the use of fats and oils from vegetable and animal origin to prepare compounds known as oleochemicals through sustainable chemistry has led to a revival in the development of bio-based materials. Oleochemical carbonates are a versatile class of compounds that have interesting properties and chemistry but are not currently utilized in large quantities for commercial applications. This article gives a short overview on the preparation, properties, and applications of oleochemical carbonates that are of commercial interest as plasticizers and components in lubricant and personal care products such as sunscreens, hair care, and cosmetics preparations.

Technical Abstract: Carbonates (esters of carbonic acid, H2CO3), known to chemists for quite some time due to their interesting chemistry, represent an important and versatile class of organic compounds. Low molecular weight linear and cyclic carbonates such as dimethyl, diethyl, ethylene and propylene carbonates find commercial and synthetic applications as solvents and reactive intermediates. Polycarbonate based plastics represent another such example of carbonate materials produced on an industrial scale. Oleochemical carbonates are a versatile class of compounds that have interesting properties and chemistry but are not currently utilized in large quantities for commercial applications. Only more recently have they earnestly been examined as potentially useful materials. Likely, competition with petroleum based products in the 1940s, in conjunction with the stigma associated with phosgene, traditionally used to prepare the carbonates, may have stifled their growth. Regardless, renewed interest in the use of fats and oils from vegetable and animal origin to prepare materials through sustainable chemistry has led to a revival in the development of bio-based materials. Oleochemical carbonates are among this movement and this article gives a short overview on the preparation, properties, and applications. Oleochemical carbonates are of commercial interest as plasticizers and components in lubricant and personal care products such as sunscreens, hair care, and cosmetics preparations.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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