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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Widaman, Andria
item Cermak, Steven - Steve

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/14/2004
Publication Date: 8/14/2004
Citation: Widaman, A., Cermak, S.C. 2004. Synthesis and modification of lesquerolic estolides for use as industrial lubricants.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Due to the low biodiversity of crops grown in the U.S., crops are becoming more susceptible to destruction by pests and disease. The USDA has been attempting to find uses for non-traditional crops for their future addition to current crop rotations. Of current interest is Lesquerella fendleri, a member of the Brassicaceae (mustard) family, which is currently being grown in the Southwestern U.S. Its seed oil, containing high levels of a hydroxy-fatty acid similar to castor oil, is being studied for its use as an industrial lubricant. Vegetable oils have proved to have high lubricity, but typically have poorer cold temperature properties and oxidative stability compared to commercially available functional fluids. Previous work with similar seed oils has shown that these properties can be improved deriving estolides from the oil. Estolide formation involves the addition of two or more fatty acids to those contained in the oil to produce a large branched structure. This research involves the synthesis and modification of lesquerolic estolides using different saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, followed by analysis of their physical properties. Also, estolides have been synthesized at lower temperatures in the presence of a tin catalyst to accommodate for the addition of smaller-chain fatty acids, which was not possible using past reaction conditions.

Last Modified: 06/27/2017
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