Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Fatty acid methyl esters can be oligomerized with very strong acid catalysts - superacids such as tetrafluoroboric or triflic acid with formation of dimer and trimer fatty acids at much lower temperature, such as 80-90 °C, than what is used presently. Insight into the reaction of polymerization of fatty esters/ acids can be obtained by structural characterization. This would determine the properties of the oligomeric products and their ability to substitute currently used materials. It was presumed that dimer fatty, trimer fatty acid esters, and oligomeric fatty acid esters are produced by polymerization of fatty acid methyl esters by a cyclization reaction involving the double bonds of the fatty acid chain. The proposed reaction of fatty acid methyl ester and fatty acid were studied in two different factors: the effect of catalyst concentrations and temperature. It was found that increasing the concentration of the catalyst increased the formation of dimer and the other oligomers of methyl soyate, while, oleic acid showed formation of estolides and lactones. Furthermore, it was found that increasing the temperatures of methyl soyate increased the formation of the dimer and the other oligomers of methyl soyate, whereas, oleic acid showed a decrease in the formation of estolides and lactones. v


Electronic thesis, viii, 53 p.


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