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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Bio-oils Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #316111

Title: Advancements of pennycress as a biofuel and the synthesis of estolides thereof

item Cermak, Steven - Steve
item Isbell, Terry
item Evangelista, Roque
item Moser, Bryan
item Murray, Rex

Submitted to: Pacifichem Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2015
Publication Date: 12/15/2015
Citation: Cermak, S.C., Isbell, T., Evangelista, R.L., Moser, B.R., Murray, R.E. 2015. Advancements of pennycress as a biofuel and the synthesis of estolides thereof [abstract]. Pacifichem 2015 - The International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies, December 15-20, 2015, Honolulu, HI. ENRG 546.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) is being developed as an off-season rotation crop between annual corn and soybean production. This rotation scheme may offer distinct advantages to farmers by providing additional farm income from an otherwise fallow season with little impact on the subsequent soybean production. The seed contains up to 36% oil with the major fatty acid as erucic acid (36%). The fatty acid composition in thlaspi has been shown to have physical properties (biodiesel properties will be presented) suitable for biofuels like biodiesel, "green" diesel, and hydro-treated renewable jet fuel (HRJ). With pennycress being developed for biofuel applications, the development of other industrial applications is a necessity for the success of an alternative crop. Hence, estolides were synthesized by an acid-catalyzed condensation reaction and followed by an esterification reaction to produce the 2-ethylhexyl (2-EH) ester estolides for lubricant applications. The physical properties (pour point, cloud point, viscosities at 40 deg C and 100 deg C, viscosity index) of the estolides are highly affected by the length and unsaturation level of the capping fatty acid, the base fatty acid unit, and estolide linkage position. Both the free-acid estolides and the estolide 2-EH esters produced proved to have marked viscosity increases over previously synthesized estolides. The combination of high viscosity and modest cold temperature properties of these pennycress estolides could fill a specialty niche as a high viscosity industrial lubricant.