(720g) Catalytic Production of Renewable Lubricant Base Oils from Biomass
Lubricants are an essential part of modern society with an over $146 billion market but have significant environmental footprint. Bio-based lubricant base-oils can offer performance advantages over existing oils and mitigate environmental challenges. We demonstrate, for the first time, the synthesis of new lubricant base-oils from biomass derived 2-alkylfurans with enals via conjugate addition-hydroxylalkylation/alkylation (CA-HAA) and followed hydrodeoxygenation reactions. Catalysts were screened to achieve up to 72% overall yield of lubricant ranged branched alkanes. The synthesized base-oils show superior properties compared to commercial mineral group III and synthetic poly-a-olefins (PAOs) base-oils. Importantly, the molecular size and number of branches of the products can be tuned by varying the molecular sizes of substrates in the CA-HAA step. The as-synthesized base-oils possess tunable properties and are promising for a wide range of applications.