Synthetic Mimicking of Plant Oils and Comparison with Naturally Grown

Report of a method of mimicking plant oil profiles in the laboratory which exhibit similar properties to the naturally grown plant oils, using the example of polyurethanes.

Year of Publication2008

The use of plant oils as industrial feedstocks can often be hampered by their lack of optimization towards a particular process, as well as their development being risky; growing suitable volumes of crops to test can take up to five years. To circumvent this, we aimed to discover a method that would mimic plant oil profiles in the laboratory, and show that they exhibited similar properties to the naturally grown plant oils in a given process. Using the synthesis of polyurethanes as an example, we have synthesized six different polymers and demonstrated that plant oils will produce polymers with similar physical properties to those oils mimicked in the laboratory. The use of this mimicking process can be extended to other types of polymers to obtain a method for predicting the properties of a given material based on the plant oil composition of a crop before it is grown in bulk.


Coles, S. R.; Barker, G.; Clark, A. J.; Kirwan, K.; Jacobs, D.; Makenji, K.; Pink, D. (2008) "Synthetic Mimicking of Plant Oils and Comparison with Naturally Grown"Macromolecular Bioscience 8 (6) pp 526–532

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