Lubricant Properties of ω − 1 Hydroxy Branched Fatty Acid-Containing Natural and Synthetic Lipids

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Sturms, Ryan
White, Derek
Vickerman, Kevin L.
Hattery, Travis
Garg, Shivani
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Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017
Sundararajan, Sriram
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Nikolau, Basil
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Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology

The Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology was founded to give students an understanding of life principles through the understanding of chemical and physical principles. Among these principles are frontiers of biotechnology such as metabolic networking, the structure of hormones and proteins, genomics, and the like.

The Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics was founded in 1959, and was administered by the College of Sciences and Humanities (later, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences). In 1979 it became co-administered by the Department of Agriculture (later, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences). In 1998 its name changed to the Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology.

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NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals
Founded in 2008 with more than $44M in federal, industry, and Iowa State University funding, CBiRC works in tandem with Iowa and the nation’s growing biosciences sector. CBiRC’s goal is to lead the transformation of the chemical industry toward a future where chemicals derived from biomass resources will lead to the production of new bioproducts to meet evolving societal needs.
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Mechanical Engineering
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Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular BiologyNSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable ChemicalsMechanical EngineeringGenetics, Development and Cell BiologyCenter for Metabolic Biology
Hydroxy fatty acids, such as those derived from castor and lesquerella seed oils make ideal substrates for the synthesis of biolubricants, cosmetics, coatings, plastics, and lubricants. However, feedstocks of such fatty acids suffer from major drawbacks, such as a lack of a cropping system to produce those seeds, toxic side-products in generating the seed oil, all of which limits availability and thus adds to costs. In this study, we explore lubrication properties of microbially derived hydroxy fatty acids, and demonstrate that such microbial ω-1 hydroxy fatty acids, and their derivatives, exhibit lubrication traits (e.g., anti-friction and anti-wear properties) comparable to those of seed derived hydroxy fatty acids. These ω-1 hydroxy fatty acids can be recovered from sophorolipids produced by the yeast Candida bombicola ATCC 22214, or by bioengineering bacterial systems to produce them from sugar [Garg et al, Microbial production of bi-functional molecules by diversification of the fatty acid pathway, Metab Eng 35 (2016) 9-20]. Optimization of this latter system can pave the way for a less-costly and sustainable alternative to plant-derived bio-lubricants.
This is a manuscript of an article published as Sturms, R., White, D., Vickerman, K.L. et al. Lubricant Properties of ω − 1 Hydroxy Branched Fatty Acid-Containing Natural and Synthetic Lipids. Tribol Lett 65, 99 (2017). Posted with permission.