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Keywords:

  • antimicrobial agents;
  • castor oil;
  • fatty acids;
  • renewable resources;
  • undecylenic acid

Abstract

A lot of attention is currently being paid to the transition to a biobased economy. In this movement, most efforts concentrate on the development of bioenergy applications including bioethanol, biodiesel, thermochemical conversion of biomass, and others. However, in the energy sector other nonbiomass alternatives are known, whereas no valuable alternatives are available when thinking about chemical building blocks. Therefore, it is also essential to develop new routes for the synthesis of bio-based chemicals and materials derived thereof. Such intermediates can originate either from plants or from animals. Castor oil is a non-edible oil extracted from the seeds of the castor bean plant Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae), which grows in tropical and subtropical areas. Globally, around one million tons of castor seeds are produced every year, the leading producing areas being India, PR China, and Brazil.2 10-Undecenoic acid or undecylenic acid is a fatty acid derived from castor oil that, owing to its bifunctional nature, has many possibilities to develop sustainable applications.