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Oleochemicals are chemicals derived from biological oils or fats. They are analogous to petrochemicals which are chemicals derived from petroleum. The hydrolysis or alcoholysis of oils or fats form the basis of the oleochemical industry.
Additional recommended knowledge
The formation of basic oleochemical substances like fatty acids, fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), fatty alcohols, fatty amines and glycerols are by various chemical and enzymatic reactions. Intermediate chemical substances produced from these basic oleochemical substances include alcohol ethoxylates, alcohol sulfates, alcohol ether sulfates, quarterner ammonium substances, monoacylglycerols (MAG), diacylglycerols (DAG), structured triacylglycerols (TAG) and sugar esters.
The addition of base helps the reaction proceed to completion.
If oils or fats are made to react with an alcohol (R'OH) instead of with water, the process is alcoholysis. It is also called transesterification, because the glycerol fragment of the fatty acid tri-ester is exchanged for that of another alcohol. Thus, the products are fatty acid esters and glycerol:
The fatty acid or fatty esters produced by these methods may be transformed. For example, hydrogenation converts unsaturated fatty acids into saturated fatty acids. The acids or esters can also be reduced to give fatty alcohols.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Oleochemical". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|