R. Tesser, V. Russo, R. Turco, R. Vitiello, M. Di Serio
Chemical Engineering Science 2020, 214, 115445; doi: 10.1016/j.ces.2019.115445
Bio-based lubricants are an attractive class of products, gaining more attention in the recent years. The production of bio-based lubricants starting from vegetable oils derivates (e.g. epoxidized) and alcohols is gaining relevance among the various synthetic routes. Brøensted acids are normally used to promote the oxirane ring opening reaction, obtaining interesting products depending on the branching and chain length of the alcohol molecule. The use of homogeneous catalysts leads to evident drawbacks that could be overcome by replacing them with heterogeneous catalysts. Clays can be considered good candidates as they show reasonable acidity and are characterized by high availability and low price. In the present paper, the use of TONSIL EX 2166 was demonstrated to be a good candidate for the synthesis of bio-lubricant bases in the presence of 2-butanol. A kinetic model was proposed to describe the physical and chemical phenomena occurring in the reaction network.