Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/4/2015
Publication Date: 5/2/2016
Citation: Doll, K.M., Moser, B.R., Liu, Z., Murray, R.E. 2016. Producing monomers and polymers from plant oils. In: Sharma, B.K., Biresaw, G., editors. Environmentally Friendly and Biobased Lubricants. Boca Raton: CRC Press. p. 79-98.
Interpretive Summary: There is a current need to increase the use of biobased materials in industry. One favorable approach is to produce drop-in replacement products, in other words, products that are already commodities within the chemical industry. This chapter is a review which highlights many recent developments in this area, including the development of olefins, acrylic acid, and new soybean oil polymers. Development of biobased routes to existing industrial chemicals avoids the conundrum of new materials in search of a use or application. Furthermore, biobased products reduce waste production and consumption of petroleum, thereby partially mitigating resource depletion, environmental hazards, human health impacts, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the traditional petrochemical industry. The agricultural sector is also stimulated by development and commercialization of new products from agricultural feedstocks.
Technical Abstract: The integration of biobased industrial products into existing markets, where petrochemically-derived materials currently dominate, is a worthy objective. This chapter reviews some technologies that have been developed including olefins of various chain lengths, photo-curable polymers, vinyl monomers, and biobased oxygen-containing monomers. These products are needed in large markets, such as the lubrication market, where significant economic impact is anticipated. Also, potential uses are possible in products such as absorbent materials, adhesives, coatings, elastomers, latices, paints, plasticizers, plastics, printing inks, resins, surfactants, and textiles. This chapter is divided into several closely related sections on monomers and polymers. The first focuses on hydrocarbon-based monomers from fatty acids, followed by oxygen-containing monomers from lipids, then non-lipids. The final section reviews advanced polymerization of vegetable oils. Overall, the research in this area will eventually lead to the development of direct drop-in biobased replacements for nonrenewable commodity chemicals. This will enhance the agricultural sector while simultaneously expanding our portfolio of renewable materials and reducing dependence on petroleum.