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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 #334895

Research Project: Industrial Monomers and Polymers from Plant Oils

Location: Bio-oils Research

Title: Decarboxylation of cinnamic acids using a ruthenium sawhorse

item Doll, Kenneth - Ken
item Walter, Erin
item Murray, Rex

Submitted to: International Journal of Sustainable Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/13/2017
Publication Date: 4/11/2018
Citation: Doll, K.M., Walter, E.L., Murray, R.E. 2018. Decarboxylation of cinnamic acids using a ruthenium sawhorse. International Journal of Sustainable Engineering. 11(1):26-31.

Interpretive Summary: Part of the value of American agriculture is to find ways to use agriculture to produce items we need from crops. Many of the plastic materials that are used every day are made from petroleum based building blocks, and a simple substitution of a natural material can lead to inferior products. However, a strategy which transforms the natural material into the same building block, a drop-in replacement, is a way around this problem. The process used in this research can convert a natural oil into a component of hard plastics and foams, and does not produce a large amount of side products. This technology is being optimized to produce your coffee cup from American agriculture.

Technical Abstract: The ruthenium sawhorse has proven effective in the conversion of trans-cinnamic acid, and substituted trans-cinnamic acids, giving an effective source of biobased styrene and styrene analogues. The reaction is especially versatile, as it achieves product without utilising co-reagents. However, the optimum conditions and substrate scope of the reaction remain unexplored. This report covers the decarboxylation of a series of cinnamates with different structures. Apparent activation energies ranging from 66 to 142 kJ mol-1 were uncovered.