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Demichael D Winfield

Research Chemist


DeMichael Winfield, Ph.D.
Research Chemist

Phone: (309) 681-6106 
Room 1201
Bio-Oils Research

1815 N University St.
Peoria IL 61604

ORCID:  0000-0003-0016-4489






 Synthesis of Biobased Materials from Plant Oils

Research Chemist with a PhD in Polymer Chemistry 
  o Oleochemistry, biolubricants, thermoplastic polymers, green organic synthesis
Modification of vegetable oils for industrial applications
Development of green synthetic methodology for functionalizing agricultural feedstocks
Synthesis of novel polymers derived from agricultural feedstocks 
  o Seed oils, terpenes, phenolic lipids, waxes 

Left-to-Right: Pennycress, Lesquerella, Castor beans    


Research on Biolubricants

 Evaluated new seed oils and their estolides for use as lubricants 
  o Pennycress, castor, lesquerella
 Evaluated the estolides of different soybean oil varieties as lubricants
 Tested physical and lubrication properties: 
  o Pour and Cloud Points 
  o Viscosity and Viscosity Index 
  o Lubricity 
  o Oxidative Stability


Research on Synthesis

 Developed amphiphilic ionic liquid catalysts for applications in oleochemical functionalization
 Hydroxyalkoxylation of epoxidized vegetable oil derivatives
 Recycling of ionic liquid catalyst

Graph showing the cold-flow properties of estolides
Graph showing the cold-flow properties of estolides

Using ionic liquid catalyst for epoxy ring-opening


Research on Polymers

 Utilization of biobased platform chemicals with unique structures to make novel polymers
 Synthesis of plant derived polymer additives
 Synthesis of linear and branched estolides

linear (top) and branched (bottom) estolides

examples of studied estolides (linear and branched)


 Dr. DeMichael Winfield is a Research Chemist with expertise in polymer and organic chemistry. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Georgia in 2021. His doctoral work focused on the synthesis and characterization of thermoplastics from plant biomass.  In 2022 Dr. Winfield worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Bio-oils research unit at NCAUR, where he developed sustainable synthetic methods for functionalizing oleochemicals for fuel and lubricant applications.

 Dr. Winfield joined the Bio-oils research group as a Research Chemist in 2023. His primary research focus is on the chemical modification of plant oils for industrial applications. Current projects include utilizing new crops as biobased feedstocks for applications as lubricants, biodiesel, polymers, and polymer additives. Another area of research is developing green, metal-free synthetic methods that are competitive with traditional industrial methods.

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