Ozonation of vegetable oils and fatty acids is a convenient oxidation process that has been used to prepare various value-added intermediates and products for industrial applications. Unlike other oxidation routes, ozone is produced on-site eliminating issues related to transportation and storage of the oxidation agent. Furthermore, any residual ozone quickly decomposes back to oxygen such that no special work-up procedures are needed to remove waste byproducts from the reaction mixture. The general process is initiated with the attack of ozone on the double bonds and the formation of ozonide intermediates. Various methods are then described in the patent literature where these intermediates are decomposed and reacted via different routes to produce carboxylic acids and esters, polyols, aldehydes, biodiesel and biofuel additives, as well as methods to stabilize and use these intermediates as disinfectants and other pharmaceutical agents. Although this oxidation process has been known for many years, a renewed interest is apparent from the increase in the number of patents in recent years.
Keywords: Ozonation, ozonide intermediates, triglycerides, fatty acids, vegetable oil, bio-based aldehydes, polyols, dicarboxylic acids and diesters, biodiesel, biofuel additives, disinfectants, novel therapeutic compounds