Lubricants—a more than $146-billion market serving numerous applications, automotive among them—are produced from base oils derived from petroleum mineral oils (mineral base oil) or synthetic oils such as poly-α-olefins (PAOs) (synthetic base oil). As such, lubricants have a significant environmental footprint. A team at the University of Delaware has now synthesized new bio-based base oils with tunable molecular branches and properties at high yields (>80%) from biomass-derived 2-alkylfurans with enals via conjugate addition-hydroxylalkylation/alkylation (CA-HAA) and hydrodeoxygenation reactions. An open-access paper on their work appears in the RSC journal Green Chemistry . In order to tailor lubricant properties, a significant fraction of additives is employed, increasing cost and environmental footprint. There is increasing need for development of improved energy-efficiency, high performance, durable, and environmentally-acceptable base oils that operate under extreme environmental conditions. Their production from non-food biomass is an attractive alternative to reduce reliance on petroleum and mitigate the environmental […]