Patent application title: Surface Active Agents Derived from Biodiesel-Based Alkylated Aromatic Compounds
IPC8 Class: AC07C30958FI
Class name: Organic compounds (class 532, subclass 1) fatty compounds having an acid moiety which contains the carbonyl of a carboxylic acid, salt, ester, or amide group bonded directly to one end of an acyclic chain of at least seven (7) uninterrupted carbons, wherein any additional carbonyl in the acid moiety is (1) part of an aldehyde or ketone group, (2) bonded directly to a noncarbon atom which is between the additional carbonyl and the chain, or (3) attached indirectly to the chain via ionic bonding extraction directly from animal or plant source material (e.g., recovery from garbage, fish offal, slaughter house waste, whole fish, olive fruit, etc.)
Publication date: 2016-01-14
Patent application number: 20160009640
A surface active agent comprising an arylated methyl ester of a fatty
acid, or mixture of fatty acids, derived from biodiesel or a triglyceride
source is disclosed. The fatty acid mixture is condensed to methyl esters
and alkylated with aromatic substituents under Friedel-Crafts conditions.
The alkylated methyl esters may be alkoxylated using a catalyst derived
from fatty acids, alkaline earth salts, and strong acids. The resulting
nonionic surfactant may also be sulfonated to produce one class of
anionic surfactants. The alkylated methyl esters may also be directly
sulfonated to produce another class of anionic surfactants.
1. A precursor for making a surface active agent, the precursor
comprising: a polyethoxylated methyl ester of an arylated long-chain
unsaturated fatty acid.
2. The precursor of claim 1, wherein the long-chain unsaturated fatty acid is derived from a natural source.
3. The precursor of claim 2, wherein the natural source comprises canola oil.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 This application is a Divisional of U.S. application Ser. No. 13/823,022, pending, which is the National Phase of International Application PCT/US11/52085 filed Sep. 19, 2011 which designated the U.S. and which claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/388,224, filed Sep. 30, 2010. The noted applications are incorporated herein by reference.
 Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to surface active agents and processes of making them. More specifically, embodiments described herein relate to surfactants derived from natural or renewable sources.
 Surfactants are widely used to make detergents. Surfactants for detergents generally have a hydrophobic component and a hydrophilic component. The hydrophobic component generally attracts an otherwise water-insoluble material, and the hydrophilic component allows that material to be dispersed in water. The hydrophobic component usually has a hydrocarbon tail for maximum affinity with oils and greases, and the hydrophilic component is usually rich in oxygen, or is ionic for affinity to water molecules.
 Components for surfactants are conventionally sourced from the petrochemical industry in the form of linear alkylbenzenes, detergent alcohols, linear alpha olefins, and paraffins. As petrochemical sources rise in cost, and to offset known environmental challenges associated with petrochemical sources in general, surfactants from components sourced from renewable or natural sources are becoming attractive.
 Embodiments described herein provide a chemical compound that has a carboxyl group, which is a carbon atom attached to a carbonyl oxygen and a hydroxyl oxygen, a hydrocarbon chain attached to the carbon atom, a methyl-terminated polyethoxy group attached to the hydroxyl oxygen, and a sulfonated aromatic group attached to the hydrocarbon chain at a secondary location.
 Other embodiments provide a precursor for making a surface active agent, the precursor formed from a methyl ester of a long-chain fatty acid alkylated with an aromatic group at a secondary location and then polyalkoxylated.
 Other embodiments provide a method of making a chemical composition by forming an unsaturated fatty acid methyl ester composition by subjecting a vegetable oil or biodiesel precursor to an esterification process, forming an aromatic alkylate from the unsaturated fatty acid methyl ester composition by performing an aromatic alkylation process on the unsaturated fatty acid methyl ester composition, and ethoxylating the aromatic alkylate
 Surprisingly useful surface active agents have the general formula
where each R1 is independently hydrogen, a methyl group, or an ethyl group, and R2 is hydrogen, methyl, ethyl, propyl, butyl, or a sulfonate (SO3) group, wherein y may be 0 or 1 and v may be 0, 1, or 2. Ar is an aromatic substituent, which may be a single benzene-type ring or a polynuclear aromatic core having two or three fused benzene-type rings. The aromatic substituent may be substituted, as indicated by the R2 group. Thus, the entire aromatic substituent may be phenyl, toluyl, xylyl, or a substituted naphtyl or anthracyl group.
 The surface active agents described herein can be readily made from natural or renewable sources of unsaturated fatty acids. Chemical compounds available by the methods described herein have a carboxyl group with a hydrocarbon chain attached to the carbon atom and an aromatic group attached to the hydrocarbon chain at a secondary location. A methyl group, or a polyalkoxy chain, for example a polyethoxy chain, terminated by a methyl group, is attached to the hydroxyl oxygen of the carboxyl group. The aromatic group, or the first carbon atom of the hydrocarbon chain counting from the carbonyl carbon atom, or both, may additionally be sulfonated in some embodiments.
 An unsaturated fatty acid methyl ester having the general formula
is condensed from the fatty acid and methanol and then alkylated with an aromatic group, e.g. arylated, to produce an arylate having the general formula
 wherein R2 is hydrogen or a methyl group, and v is 0, 1, or 2. The arylate may then be polyethoxylated to produce a surface active agent having the general formula
or sulfonated to produce a surface active agent having the general formula
wherein R2 may additionally be a sulfonate group and y is 0 or 1. The polyethoxylated aromatic alkylate (4) may also be sulfonated to produce the full arylated fatty acid methyl ester ethoxylate sulfonate. If the surface active agent is sulfonated at any location, or if R2 is an SO3 group in structure (1), the surface active agent is an anionic surfactant. Otherwise, the surface active agent is nonionic. It should be noted that sulfonation may produce a distribution of molecules having one or more sulfonate groups, in addition to unsulfonated molecules. The carbon atom immediately adjacent to the carbonyl carbon atom may be sulfonated, and one or more of the aromatic carbon atoms may be sulfonated. Depending on the aromatic species, sulfonation may yield a distribution of molecules having from one to five sulfonate groups.
 Unsaturated fatty acids suitable for practicing the methods disclosed herein may be obtained from any triglyceride source, such as yellow grease, tallow, lard, vegetable oils, fish oils, algae oils, or biodiesel sources. Biodiesel varieties such as B-100 biodiesel derived from either palm oil or canola oil are generally suitable. Additionally, saturated fatty acids, triglycerides, and fatty acid methyl esters may be dehydrogenated using a conventional dehydrogenation catalyst to produce unsaturated fatty acids. A mixture of unsaturated fatty acids may be converted to mixed methyl esters by condensation with methanol to form unsaturated mixed methyl esters. The unsaturated mixed methyl esters may be alkylated or arylated at the site of one or more of the carbon-carbon double bonds under Friedel-Crafts reaction conditions in the presence of an aromatic component such as benzene or toluene to form an aromatic alkylate.
 In some embodiments, a biodiesel source may be pre-processed by distillation or dehydrogenation to remove non-reactive saturates, or to convert them into reactive unsaturates. Polyunsaturated species may also be used, alone or mixed with monounsaturates, to form surface active agents according to the processes described herein. Polyunsaturates will generally form dark-colored agents that will be more useful in applications with low sensitivity to color, such as enhanced oil recovery applications. Polyunsaturates may also be partially hydrogenated to produce monounsaturates. The lightly colored or white agents derived from monounsaturates are generally preferred for consumer detergent applications.
 Canola oil, for example, typically contains about 7% saturates, about 30% polyunsaturates, with the balance mono-unsaturates. The proportions of saturates, monounsaturates, and polyunsaturates may be adjusted, as described above, with any desired combination of hydrogenation, dehydrogenation, and distillation to produce a desired biodiesel-derived feedstock.
 The aromatic alkylate may be alkoxylated at the hydroxyl oxygen of the ester by adding an alkylene oxide, for example ethylene oxide or propylene oxide, or a mixed alkylene oxide, in the presence of a catalyst derived from a fatty acid, an alkaline earth salt, and a strong acid, which may further be derived from a glycol.
 Suitable catalysts for such reactions are described in commonly assigned U.S. Pat. No. 7,629,487.
 An unsaturated fatty acid methyl ester material was prepared using B100 biodiesel derived from palm oil or canola oil. The natural fatty acids were condensed with methanol under basic conditions, and the resulting methyl esters were reacted with benzene using HF as a catalyst. The resulting arylated methylester was distilled to recover and isolate the mono-arylated methyl ester. A nonionic surfactant was then prepared by reacting the mono-arylated mixture with ethylene oxide under an inert atmosphere at 180° C. using a catalyst described above. Reaction pressure is maintained below about 60 psig by adjusting the rate of addition of ethylene oxide. The reaction was then digested and cooled, and the catalyst neutralized with acetic acid to form the nonionic surfactant. The resulting material was water soluble and had surfactant properties. An anionic surfactant was then prepared from the nonionic surfactant by reacting with chlorosulfonic acid or with a mixture of air and SO3 to form the anionic surfactant. The resulting material was water soluble and had surfactant properties.
 Canola oil was condensed into methyl esters, arylated, and distilled to recover monoarylates from the resulting product. The resulting monoarylate mixture, primarily octadecanoic acid, 9 or 10-phenyl, methyl ester, when ethoxylated as described above, was diluted in water, 8 grams of sample in 792 grams of water, to produce an 800 gram mixture. The mixture displayed a pH of 5.1, an equilibrium surface tension of 35.66 mN/m, and interfacial tension with mineral oil of 8.74 mN/m. Table 1 lists the above results along with some comparative samples.
TABLE-US-00001 TABLE 1 Comparison of an Arylated Methyl Ester Ethoxylate with Various Surfactants Sample 1 2 3 4 5 Grams Sample 8 8 8 8 8 Grams Water 792 792 792 792 792 pH 4.9 5.1 5.3 5.4 5.1 Surface Tension, mN/m 28.5 31.5 35.5 35.2 35.7 Interface Tension 2.48 0.95 2.09 3.35 8.74 (mineral oil), mN/m
 Sample 1=linear alcohol ethoxylate surfactant (Huntsman SURFONIC® L24-7)
 Sample 2=nonylphenol ethoxylate surfactant (Huntsman SURFONIC N-95)
 Samples 3 and 4=fatty acid methyl ester ethoxylates (Huntsman SURFONIC ME-400 and ME-530)
 Sample 5=9/10-phenyl-octadecanoic acid, methyl ester
 The arylated methyl ester described above was sulfonated by exposure to air and SO3, and the resulting product diluted in water. Table 2 shows properties of the resulting mixtures.
TABLE-US-00002 TABLE 2 Comparison of Sulfonated Arylated Methyl Ester Ethoxylates with a Known Surfactant Sample 1 2 3 Grams Sample 10 10 10 Grams Water 990 990 990 pH 5.9 5.7 5 Surface Tension, mN/m 37.5 32.1 34.9 Interface Tension 6.2 5.3 5.0 (mineral oil), mN/m Sample 1 = Arylated methyl ester sulfonate #1 Sample 2 = Arylated methyl ester sulfonate #2 Sample 3 = Huntsman A-215 linear alkyl benzene sulfonate, sodium salt prepared by air/SO3 sulfonation of A-215 alkyl benzene.
 By practicing the methods described herein, a new class of useful surfactants may be made from biodiesel and/or other natural fatty acid sources.
 While the foregoing is directed to embodiments of the present invention, other and further embodiments of the invention may be devised without departing from the basic scope thereof, and the scope thereof is determined by the claims that follow.
Patent applications in class Extraction directly from animal or plant source material (e.g., recovery from garbage, fish offal, slaughter house waste, whole fish, olive fruit, etc.)
Patent applications in all subclasses Extraction directly from animal or plant source material (e.g., recovery from garbage, fish offal, slaughter house waste, whole fish, olive fruit, etc.)