Development of industrial productions on set-aside lands has encouraged non-food uses of vegetable oils such as rapeseed or sunflower. Several industrial applications are currently under development in oleochemical pla biodiesel and lubricants through esterification, soaps and surfactants through saponification or selective hydrogenation,.. Such production could be highly beneficial to Europe regarding environment impact through biodegradable renewable materials, as well as regarding landscape maintenance thanks to set-aside lands exploitation improvement of the trade balance thanks to fewer petroleum imports.
As a general scheme, the valorization of a raw material reaches an optimum when secondary products are exploited. The main secondary product of oleochemistry is glycerol with a growing up contribution issued from industrial vegetable oils.
Therefore, it is important, from that point of view, to find new applications for glycerol, that are worthwile regarding both market and environment impacts.
Over the past years, glycerol has become an attractive raw material for the preparation of specialty products. Due to its unique structure and chemical behaviour, glycerol could potentially be used as the hydrophilic componer surfactants.
Glycerol as such is not suitable as a primary constituent of the hydrophilic part of the surfactant. Furthermore hydrophobic balance of the product needs to be adjusted in order to optimize performances. To increase hydrophilicity, glycerol needs to be polymerized to polyglycerols.
Conventional methods for polymerizing glycerol require drastcic process condibons including high temperature caustic content. Therefore, the molecular composition is very difficult to determine and correlations betw structure and performances cannot be established which limit the rational design of optimized structures. Morever, it is not clear at this stage, what structural features in a polyglycerol ester are responsible for fast or s biodegradabon. For this reason a project is proposed to clarify the relationship between structure 4 environnement impact, on one hand, and physico-chemical properties, on the other hand, in polyglycerol esters Synthesis of selected polyglycerols with a defined degree of oligomerisabon (di-, tri-, tetra-, ..., decaglycerol provided with linear branched, or cyclic structures. Synthesis of esters of di-to decaglycerol, with defined alkyl chain lengths (C6, C8, C12, C18, linear,and branched Evaluation of the biological degradability of the single products in a basic screening test (closed bottle or Bodis tes Evaluation of ecotoxicity.
Determination of surfactant properties (solubility, phase behaviour, surface activity, wetting ability, foaming).
Comparison of polyglycerol esters with established surfactants (fatty alcohol ethoxylates).
Establish a market and product profiles for polyglycerol esters.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
20121 Bollate Milano