Journal of Oil Palm Research (Special Issue - April 2006), p. 50-57
FUNCTIONAL ESTERS DERIVED FROM FATS AND OILS
The fatty acid esters have been used in almost all fields of industry because of their flexibility for desired properties and functions. Actually various kinds of esters with different kinds of performances are designed by changing the starting materials, such as fatty acids and alcohols. That is why fatty acids esters have received considerable attention year after year and they have been used in a lot of fields, such as lubricants, anti-static agents for plastic, cosmetics and so forth.
Recently, the rapid developments of machinery and technology compel fatty acid esters to have much higher performances to meet them. For instance, in the electronic material field, the toners used for electronic photograph required much higher performances in view of energy-saving and high quality picture technology. In order to meet these demands, the wax must fill the properties such as sharp melting point, high heat stability, good colour performance and good dispersibility to resin. Carnauba wax has been one of the most popular waxes and has been used in toner area, but now they are not enough to match these properties needed.
On another front, environmentally friendly lubricating oil is called for more and more in recent years. In the past, mineral oils are conventionally used having the advantage of price. But now good biodegradation as well as excellent heat resistance and good lubricity is fundamental to lubricants used. Especially, the soil and water pollution issue caused by leaking oils from the machine forces to improve and develop new types of fatty acid esters with appropriate combination of properties.
From the viewpoint of environmental friendliness and complex performances desired, fatty acid esters have more possibility to be used in various field of industry due to the reconfiguration of fatty acid moiety and alcohol moiety.
* Oleo and Speciality Chemicals Research Laboratory,
NOF Corporation, 1-56, Oohama-cho, Amagasaki-shi, Japan.