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Tunable Oleo-Furan Surfactants by Acylation of Renewable Furans

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journal contribution
posted on 19.10.2016, 18:05 by Dae Sung Park, Kristeen E. Joseph, Maura Koehle, Christoph Krumm, Limin Ren, Jonathan N. Damen, Meera H. Shete, Han Seung Lee, Xiaobing Zuo, Byeongdu Lee, Wei Fan, Dionisios G. Vlachos, Raul F. Lobo, Michael Tsapatsis, Paul J. Dauenhauer
An important advance in fluid surface control was the amphiphilic surfactant composed of coupled molecular structures (i.e., hydrophilic and hydrophobic) to reduce surface tension between two distinct fluid phases. However, implementation of simple surfactants has been hindered by the broad range of applications in water containing alkaline earth metals (i.e., hard water), which disrupt surfactant function and require extensive use of undesirable and expensive chelating additives. Here we show that sugar-derived furans can be linked with triglyceride-derived fatty acid chains via Friedel–Crafts acylation within single layer (SPP) zeolite catalysts. These alkylfuran surfactants independently suppress the effects of hard water while simultaneously permitting broad tunability of size, structure, and function, which can be optimized for superior capability for forming micelles and solubilizing in water.