Hydrogenated vegetable oils (HVOs) can be produced from a variety of commodity vegetable oils (eg. palm, soybean and rapeseed). HVOs have potential for applications in the industrial waxes market, however their technical shortcomings prevent HVOs from capturing a larger share of the market. If these technical shortcoming are overcome, HVOs could partially replace refined paraffin waxes, derived from crude petroleum slack wax.
The ability to modify HVO waxes so that they behave more like paraffin waxes opens up a very substantial new opportunity for HVOs. The price of refined paraffin waxes, derived from crude petroleum slack wax, has risen substantially in recent years, making it more attractive to find a (biobased) replacement.
The objective of the project is to significantly extend the use of vegetable-based waxes for industrial uses, by modification of the HVOs to overcome current technical shortcomings. The project aims to deliver a deeper understanding of the interrelation between the chemistry, structure and technical properties of HVOs, and how to modify them in an effective way. If successful, its commercial scaleup is feasible since the process builds upon existing food refinery infrastructure.