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Issue 4, 2012
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Derivation and synthesis of renewable surfactants

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This critical review focuses on the origins and preparation of bio-based surfactants, defined here as non-soap, amphiphilic molecules in which the carbon atoms are derived from annually renewable feedstocks. Environmental concerns and market pressures have led to greater relevance of these chemicals in commercial applications in recent years and extensive research has gone into exploring new classes of surfactants. Highlighted here are examples of bio-based surfactants that are produced on an industrial scale and/or are based on abundant starting materials. The trend of increasing use of renewable resources as starting materials for surfactants is introduced, followed by extensive discussion of the major classes of bio-derived hydrophobes and hydrophiles. Also discussed is the status of research and development with regard to biosynthetically produced surfactants. Finally, concluding remarks address the potential for new surfactant molecular structures as a result of ongoing development in the chemistry of biorefineries, i.e., that the transformation of lignocellulose into fuels is likely to support the manufacturing of new bio-based coproducts (238 references).

Graphical abstract: Derivation and synthesis of renewable surfactants

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The article was received on 11 Aug 2011 and first published on 17 Oct 2011

Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15217C
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012,41, 1499-1518

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    Derivation and synthesis of renewable surfactants

    P. Foley, A. Kermanshahi pour, E. S. Beach and J. B. Zimmerman, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 1499
    DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15217C

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