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Organizations & People
Appl. Chem., Vol. 72, No. 7, pp. 1255-1264,
Special Topic Issue on Green Chemistry
Fats and oils as oleochemical raw materials
Cognis Deutschland GmbH, Düsseldorf, Germany
Abstract: Vegetable oils and fats are important constituents
of human and animal foodstuffs. Certain grades are industrially used
and, together with carbohydrates and proteins, are important renewable
resources compared to fossil and mineral raw materials, whose occurrence
is finite. In concepts for new products, the price, performance, and
product safety criteria are equally important and have a correspondingly
high importance right at the start of product development. To ensure
a high degree of product safety for consumers and the environment, renewable
resources have often been shown to have advantages when compared with
petrochemical raw materials and can therefore be regarded as being the
ideal raw material basis. Results from oleochemistry show that the use
of vegetable fats and oils allows the development of competitive, powerful
products, which are both consumer-friendly and environment-friendly.
Recently developed products, which fit this requirement profile, are
the anionic surfactants cocomonoglyceride sulfate and the nonionic sugar
surfactant alkyl polyglycoside. These products are used especially as
mild surfactants in cosmetic formulations. In polymer applications derivatives
of oils and fats, such as epoxides, polyols, and dimerizations products
based on unsaturated fatty acids, are used as plastic additives or components
for composites or polymers like polyamides and polyurethanes. In the
lubricant sector fatty acid-based esters have proven to be powerful
alternatives to conventional mineral oil products.
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