(720g) Catalytic Production of Renewable Lubricant Base Oils from Biomass

Liu, S., University of Delaware
Saha, B., University of Delaware
Vlachos, D. G., University of Delaware
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.