vegetable oil as biomass source for developing bioplasticisers

vegetable oil as biomass source for developing bioplasticisers

Bio-based plasticizers

In recent trends, the petro-based plasticizers is being questioned because of toxicity and environmental health issues.Hence there is a large demand for new low toxic and low-migration natural-based plasticizers to replace petro-based ones.

For bio-based plasticizers, these are the desired properties that one would expect to have:

    • Non-toxicity ,

    • Good miscibility with polymers

    • High efficiency as normal plasticizers

    • High resistance to leaching from polymer

    • Relatively low cost.

      Vegetable oil as a biomass source.

      The ideas to develop  biodegradability and low toxicity of vegetable oils, they represent a promising route to the production of bioplasticizers. They are mainly composed of triglycerides and triglycerols made up of glycerol and various fatty acids . The triglycerides have a distinctive feature composed of two active sites: the ester group and double bond . The ester group composed of glycerol and fatty acids can be esterified and used as plasticizers . They are good potential for plasticizers as they react with polymer chains to bring compatibility. The double bond active site after going through epoxidation and acetylated can be used as plasticizers. The latter has seen many developments in the bio plasticizer industry in recent years. Among them are epoxidized soybean oil . The epoxidized bio-plasticizers is advantageous on the fact, the epoxy groups are able to absorb and neutralize the hydrochloric acid released from PVC during thermal and light degradation thereby extending the life of PVC . Other experimented ones include epoxidized olive oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil and sunflower oil . Table below presents industrial bio-plasticizers used .

      Plasticizer trade name

      Chemical Name


      Bio-based content


      Acetylated castor oil

      Castor oil


      Kalflex® 14A


      Soyabean oil


      Nexo® E01

      Methyl epoxy soyate

      Soyabean oil


      Resiflex® K50

      Amyl expoxy soyate

      Soyabean oil



      Di-capryl sebacate

      Castor oil


      PLS Green® 9

      Nonyl epoxy soyate

      Soyabean oil


      The demand for bioplasticizers is reported to increase to 2,000,000 tonnes in 2025-2026.