Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

One-pot synthesis of chemically modified vegetable oils.

PMID 18399638


Vegetable oils are promising candidates as substitutes for petroleum base oils in lubricant applications, such as total loss lubrication, military applications, and outdoor activities. Although vegetable oils have some advantages, they also have poor oxidation and low temperature stability. One of the ways to address these issues is chemical modification of fatty acid chain of triglyceride. We report a one-pot synthesis of a novel class of chemically modified vegetable oils from epoxidized triacylglycerols and various anhydrides. In an anhydrous solvent, boron trifluoride etherate is used as catalyst to simultaneously open the oxirane ring and activate the anhydride. The reaction was monitored and products confirmed by NMR, FTIR, GPC, and TGA analysis. Experimental conditions were optimized for research quantity and laboratory scale-up (up to 4 lbs). The resultant acyl derivatives of vegetable oil, having diester substitution at the sites of unsaturation, have potential in formulation of industrial fluids such as hydraulic fluids, lubricants, and metal working fluids.