This research is done in the frame of a NWO-LIFT project, in collaboration with Croda, BASF and VibSpec.
Isostearic acid is used in cosmetics, foods and lubricating oils, among others. Its commercial production takes place through the hydrogenation of the fatty acid iso-oleic acid, which can be made from vegetable oils. In this project, we will use a combination of solid catalyst materials which, in addition to the hydrogenation reaction, also removes undesired color and odor components. We are looking for a new hydrogenation catalyst that selectively produces isostearic acid of high purity. We aim for the best catalyst material with the right balance of active sites with both acid and metal properties. To study the hydrogenation process we will use several in-situ characterization methods, such as UV-VIS, ATR-IR and Raman spectroscopy and complement this with off-line methods, such as NMR and GC/MS.