Submitted to: European Section of American Oil Chemists' Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 20, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Vegetable oils are used in various industrial applications such as emulsifiers, lubricants, plasticizers, surfactants, plastics, solvents, and resins. Research and development approaches take advantage of the natural properties of these oils. Vegetable oils have superb environmental credentials, such as being inherently biodegradable, having low ecotoxicity and low toxicity towards humans, being derived from renewable resources, and contributing no volatile organic chemicals (VOC). At the Oil Chemical Research Unit (ARS, USDA, NCAUR), our principle efforts focus on modifying the chemical and physical properties of vegetable oils (emphasizing soybean oil), to enhance their use as an additive or as a major component of value-added industrial products. One area is the preparation of 100% vegetable oil-based ink vehicles and formulations. They are cost competitive with petroleum- based inks and have better quality factors and environmental properties, such as biodegradability, lower VOC, and good deinkability. A second area is the chemical modification of vegetable oils to give properties necessary for biodegradable lubricant basestocks. Improvements in oxidative stability and low temperature performance are the key focus areas. A laboratory test protocol to evaluate lubricant properties is being developed to avoid costly field testing.