Biotechnological enhancement of soybean oil for lubricant applications

Monica A. Schmidt, Charles R. Dietrich, Edgar B. Cahoon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

15 Scopus citations


Soybean oil is a potential low cost, renewable alternative to petroleum-derived chemicals for a number of lubricant applications. However, it is well recognized that soybean oil has a variety of physical properties that limit its use in lubricant formulations. These include low oxidative stability and the tendency of the oil to solidify at low temperatures [1-3]. Currently, less than 4% of the soybean oil produced in the United States is used for nonedible applications and only a small fraction of this is used for lubricants [4]. Assuming that the performance properties of soybean oil can be improved, the United Soybean Board has estimated that the potential demand for this oil in lubricant applications could result in the consumption of more than 100 million bushels of soybeans or over 3% of the current annual production in the United States [5]. The physical properties of soybean oil result largely from its fatty acid composition and antioxidant content. Biotechnology represents one approach for enhancement of the quality of soybean oil for lubricant applications. In this review, the underlying principles of soybean biotechnology will be described in context with past and ongoing efforts to modify the fatty acid composition and antioxidant content of soybean oil for improved lubricant performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSynthetics, Mineral Oils, and Bio-Based Lubricants
Subtitle of host publicationChemistry and Technology
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781420027181
ISBN (Print)1574447238, 9781574447231
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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