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Solvent-free acid-catalyzed ring-opening of epoxidized oleochemicals using stearates/stearic acid, and its applications.

Journal of agricultural and food chemistry (2012-02-07)
Byung-Jun Kollbe Ahn, Stefan Kraft, Xiuzhi Susan Sun
ABSTRACT

Toxic solvent and strong acid catalysts causing environmental issues have been mainly used for ring-opening of epoxidized oleochemicals. Here, we demonstrated that magnesium stearate (Mg-stearate) was a high efficient catalyst for solvent-free ring-opening of epoxidized methyl oleate, a model compound of midchain epoxide. Mg-stearate resulted in the highest yield (95%) and conversion rate (99%) toward midchain alkoxyesters under the same conditions (160 °C, 12 h) superior to other fatty acid derivatives such as a Lewis acid (lithium and sodium stearate) and Brønsted acid (stearic acid). Based on this chemical study, we synthesized biogrease and thermoplastic using epoxidized soybean oil (ESO) and Mg-stearate via one-pot, solvent-free, and purification-free process. Mg-stearate played a significant role as a reactant for epoxide ring-opening and as a thickener when excess loading rate was used; viscosity increased from 1800 to 4500 Pa·s at 25 °C when ESO:Mg-stearate increased from 1:1 equiv to 1:2, then behaved like thermoplastics (T(g) = -27 °C, T(m) = 90 °C) with 1:4.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Methyl oleate, 99%
Supelco
Methyl oleate, analytical standard
Sigma-Aldrich
Methyl oleate, technical grade, 70%
Sigma-Aldrich
Methyl elaidate, ≥99% (capillary GC)
Supelco
Methyl elaidate, analytical standard
Supelco
cis-9-Octadecenoic acid methyl ester, certified reference material, 10 mg/mL in heptane

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