Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Commodity Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #339513

Research Project: Increasing the Value of Cottonseed

Location: Commodity Utilization Research

Title: Novel polymeric products derived from biodiesel

item Biswas, Atanu
item Liu, Zengshe - Kevin
item FURTADO, ROSELAYNE - Universidade Estadual Do Ceara
item ALVES, CARLUCIO - Universidade Estadual Do Ceara
item Cheng, Huai

Submitted to: ACS Symposium Series
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/5/2017
Publication Date: 11/2/2017
Citation: Biswas, A., Liu, Z., Furtado, R., Alves, C.R., Cheng, H.N. 2017. Novel polymeric products derived from biodiesel. In: Cheng, H.N., Maryanoff, C.A., Miller, B.D., Schmidt, D.G., editors. Stereochemistry and Global Connectivity: The Legacy of Ernest L. Eliel Volume 2. ACS Symposium Series 1258. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society. p. 207-220.

Interpretive Summary: There is increasing interest in using agro-based, renewable and ecofriendly raw materials for the synthesis of specialty polymeric products. For this purpose, the prospective raw material should preferably be commercially available and relatively inexpensive. One suitable candidate is biodiesel, which is primarily used for transportation and energy applications, but (so far) not for polymerization. We have found in this work that biodiesel can be successfully epoxidized and then polymerized. Several homopolymers and copolymers have been made. This information strong suggests that biodiesel can be a useful feedstock for plastics and specialty polymers, and biodiesel manufacturers can diversify their product portfolio and derive additional value through commodity utilization.

Technical Abstract: Biodiesel (produced by reacting a triglyceride with an alcohol) is increasingly being used as diesel fuel and heating oil, especially in Europe. Because of its availability and favorable environmental profile, it may be useful as a renewable feedstock for new polymers. In this work we introduced the epoxide functionality into biodiesel and converted it into a polymer through cationic polymerization with fluorosulfonic acid. Because of the stereochemistry involved, both linear and cyclic products were found. Copolymerization with epoxidized soybean oil produced polymers that ranged from liquids to solids. The use of a comonomer (e.g., diepoxides and propylene oxide) produced more diverse polymer structures. The NMR spectra of these materials provided helpful information on the reaction mechanism. These products may perhaps find applications as additives in lubricants, specialty elastomers, thickeners in coatings, and ingredients in oil-based commercial formulations.