Process of Manufacturing Surfactants and Lubricants

    Raghuraman, Arjun (Pearland, TX, US), Heath, William H. (Lake Jackson, TX, US), Hook, Bruce D. (Lake Jackson, TX, US), Yu, Wanglin (Pearland, TX, US), Mukhopadhyay, Sukrit (Midland, MI, US), Spinney, Heather A. (Midland, MI, US), Wilson, David R. (Midland, MI, US), Notestein, Justin M. (Evanston, IL, US), Nguyen, Sonbinh T. (Evanston, IL, US)

    • Dow Global Technologies LLC (Midland, MI, US)
    • Northwestern University (Evanston, IL, US)

    A method of producing an alcohol ethoxylate surfactant or lubricant includes reacting a low molecular weight initiator with ethylene oxide in the presence of a polymerization catalyst, the low molecular weight initiator having a nominal hydroxyl functionality at least 1, and the polymerization catalyst being a Lewis acid catalyst having the general formula M(R1)1(R2)1(R3)1(R4)0 or 1, whereas M is boron, aluminum, indium, bismuth or erbium, R1, R2 and R3 each includes a same fluoroalkyl-substituted phenyl group, and optional R4 includes a functional group or functional polymer group. R1, R2, and R3 are the same fluoroalkyl-substituted phenyl group. The method further includes forming the alcohol ethoxylate surfactant or lubricant having a number average molecular weight of greater than the number average molecular weight of the low molecular weight initiator in the presence of the Lewis acid catalyst.

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