Submitted to: Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/29/2005
Publication Date: 1/7/2006
Citation: Adhvaryu, A., Sharma, B.K., Hwang, H., Erhan, S.Z., Perez, J.M. 2006. Development of bio-based synthetic fluids: Application of molecular modeling to structure-physical property relationship. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. 45(3):928-933.
Interpretive Summary: Seed oil based industrial fluids and lubricants are increasingly used due to their excellent performance properties comparable to existing petroleum derived products and simultaneously being eco-friendly. Development of synthetic bio fluids is a lengthy, expensive and tiring exercise. It is a challenge to derive most functional properties from a single molecule at the first attempt. Computer derived models of hypothetical molecules, followed by computation of their energy, charge distribution and steric environment, can predict their physical and chemical properties to a high degree of accuracy. This manuscript illustrates the application of molecular models and subsequent synthesis to validate the structure-property relationship. This approach can generate significant interest among industries manufacturing seed oil based industrial products, such as base fluids and lubricants. The long term effects of this research will improve the agro-economy of locally grown renewable resources and open avenues for more 'green' technologies.
Technical Abstract: Recent developments in bio-based synthetic fluids are primarily due to their comparable performance properties to existing petro-based products and being largely eco-friendly. Development of a suitable molecule via a chemical synthesis pathway alone will be an expensive and time consuming exercise. A model used to predict important characteristics of molecules such as oxidation, reactivity, low temperature fluidity, viscosity, lubricity, etc., based on computationally derived molecular descriptors, allowing study of designer molecules, is described here. Calculations based on equilibrium geometries were optimized using AM1 semi-empirical molecular orbital models. Modeling of desired compounds and subsequent computation of their minimum energy, steric environment, electron charge density distribution, can guide us to synthesize seed oil based derivatives with promising physiochemical properties. It was observed that ring opening of the triacylglycerol epoxy group and subsequent derivatization of the epoxy carbons can improve the oxidation and low temperature stability of the molecule. Energy profile and charge density around the labile hydrogen or a functional group in the molecule can predict chemical reactivity.