FUNCTIONALIZATION OF VEGETABLE OILS FOR USE IN THE POLYMER, OLEOCHEMICAL, AND LUBRICANT INDUSTRIES
Location: Bio-oils Research Unit
Title: Oligomerization of jojoba oil in supercritical C02 for cosmeceutical application
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 10, 2011
Publication Date: December 10, 2011
Citation: Liu, Z., Shah, S.N. 2011. Oligomerization of jojoba oil in supercritical C02 for cosmeceutical application [abstract]. National Seminar on Nutraceuticals and Plants Used in Human Health, December 10-11, 2011, at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Gujarat, India.
Growing social importance on issues such as exhaustion of non-renewable resources, high crude oil prices, the environment, and waste disposal, has led to the search for bio-based products from renewable agricultural resources. Vegetable oils are renewable, non-toxic, biodegradable, non-polluting, and relatively harmless to the environment. Approximately 80% of the global plant oil and fat production is from vegetable oil, whereas 20% is from animal origin (share decreasing).
Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) is a perennial shrub that is native to the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of Arizona, California, and western Mexico. Jojoba is also cultivated in certain hot, arid areas such as Israel, the Mediterranean, India, Africa, and South America. Unlike most other plants, the oil of jojoba seeds, which constitutes between 45-55% by weight of the seeds, is mainly composed of long chain monoesters of fatty acids and alcohols (97-98% by weight) rather than triglycerides. These esters, which are commonly referred to as wax esters, are straight chain esters predominantly 36-46 carbons in length, with an ester approximately in the center of the chain. Sterols, free fatty acids, and alcohols are present in substantially lower amounts, particularly in the oil from mature seeds. Jojoba oil is also used as an alternative to sperm oil as a lubricant and as a plasticizer.
Recently, attention has been focused on the development of environmentally-friendly replacements for volatile organic solvents. One promising candidate is supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2). The low toxicity of CO2 and lack of toxic solvent residues in the final product makes CO2 an attractive medium for the synthesis and processing of polymers and biomaterials. Also, CO2 is inexpensive, readily available, and nonflammable.
With this in mind, we have decided to use Jojoba oil as plant oil for our current studies. We have discovered novel dimers of jojoba oil wax esters and a process for their preparation. In this process, jojoba oil wax esters are reacted in the presence of a catalytically effective amount of an acid catalyst in supercritical CO2. In the reaction, the double bonds of the wax esters are opened and cross-linked to two wax esters as dimers. Interestingly, the dimerized jojoba oil produced is a solid at room temperature, with an approximate melting point at the temperature of the human body. These properties are currently being explored by cosmeceutical and pharmaceutical industries for its dermatological properties.