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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 #399808

Research Project: New High-Value Biobased Materials with Applications Across Industry

Location: Bio-oils Research

Title: Industrial chemicals via decarboxylation of natural carboxylic acids

item Doll, Kenneth - Ken
item Moser, Bryan

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2023
Publication Date: 12/22/2023
Citation: Doll, K.M., Moser, B.R. 2023. Industrial chemicals via decarboxylation of natural carboxylic acids. In: Liu, Z., Kraus, G., editors. Green Chemistry and Green Materials from Plant Oils and Natural Acids. Vol. 83. Cambridge, UK:Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing. p. 144-158.

Interpretive Summary: The integration of naturally sourced industrial products into existing markets, where petrochemically-derived materials currently dominate, has been an objective of researchers for years. A series of ARS technologies is highlighted in this chapter, which show promise in the conversion of biobased materials into the building blocks needed for modern plastics, or for the fuels in our modern vehicles. Specifically covered is a technology which removes the oxygen molecules from a product to produce a direct petroleum substitute. The conversion of a vegetable oil into either a fuel or a plastic component is discussed in detail. As a bonus section, a natural sugar is also converted into a high-performance plastic ingredient. In addition to using natural starting materials, this technology also avoids the production of a large amount of hazardous waste. The knowledge of these technologies, presented here, is a benefit to both agricultural producers, and the industries that currently use petroleum.

Technical Abstract: Alternatives to petroleum-derived products, from biobased starting materials, have been a goal in the area of green materials, for private, university, and government researchers for many years. Although progress toward the goal of a major biobased economy is evident in several commercialized areas, such as biobased fuels, high profile business failures are unfortunately still commonplace in the private sector. This chapter highlights a newly developed decarboxylation technology that can be leveraged to convert fatty acids or carbohydrates into high-value renewable products for the future. It gives the promise of at least some petroleum replacement, as well as an alternative to some environmentally detrimental processes.