Synthesis and physical properties of isostearic acids and their esters

Helen L. Ngo, Robert O. Dunn, Brajendra Sharma, Thomas A. Foglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Saturated branched-chain fatty acids (sbc-FAs) are found as minor constituents in several natural fats and oils. Sbc-FAs are of interest since they have lower melting points than their linear counterparts and exhibit good oxidative stability; properties that make them ideally suited in a number of applications. We (and others) have previously synthesized sbc-FAs by clay- or zeolite-catalyzed isomerization of unsaturated linear-chain fatty acids (ulc-FAs) to unsaturated branched-chain fatty acids (ubc-FAs) that were subsequently hydrogenated to the desired sbc-FAs. These acid-catalyzed isomerization reactions, however, proceed in moderate conversion and selectivity. Recently, our group found that H-Ferrierite zeolite catalyst isomerized ulc-FAs to their branched-chain counterparts in high conversion (>95%) and selectivity (85%). This paper reports the use of this type of catalyst for the preparation of a series of sbc-FAs and their ester derivatives. Selected physical properties of these branched acids and esters such as cloud point (CP) and pour point (PP), cold filter plugging point (CFPP), viscosity index (VI), thermo-oxidation stability, iodine value, and lubricity are also reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-188
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Lipid Science and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Branched-chain fatty acid
  • Isostearic acid
  • Lubricant
  • Viscosity index
  • Zeolite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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