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Preparation of Propylene Glycol Fatty Acid Ester or Other Glycol, or Polyol Fatty Acid Esters

Battelle Memorial Institute

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PDF Document PublicationView Patent (38 KB)

Technology Marketing Summary

This technology provides an alternate method to synthesize a key type of PVC plasticizer described in US 6,797,753 (see separate description entitled “Plasticizers Derived from Vegetable Oils”).  This approach uses esters of fatty acids as feed materials and more specifically uses methyl esters of vegetable oils that are referred to as “biodiesel” fuels.  One particularly useful biodiesel is soybean oil biodiesel (methyl soyate) that is projected to be a high volume and relatively inexpensive material in the United States. 


A method for the preparation of a polyol fatty acid ester utilizes a combination of methyl soyate and a polyol in a molar ratio of approximately 2:1 in the presence of a basic catalyst to produce a fatty acid ester. Methanol is removed during a distillation process to drive the reaction process. Optionally, gas sparging can be utilized to aide in methanol recovery. In one embodiment, the method is employed to produce a propylene glycol disoyate product that does not require further purification or distillation to remove a relatively high boiling methyl soyate reactant.


• Use of methyl soyate as a feed material avoids formation of darkened intermediate and co-distillation problems while using a basic catalyst.
• When methyl soyate-based biodiesel becomes a high volume product, the cost of this feedstock plus processing costs will probably be less than the cost resulting when starting with soy acids as the feedstock.

Applications and Industries

• Flexible PVC applications such as tubing, hose, films, sheeting, cable covering, various molded parts and toys

Technology Status
Development StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated

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