Question mark

Help us discover a synthetic route to a naturally occurring chemical

There is a projected shortage in the world supply of Octanoic Acid (CAS 124-07-2, also known as Caprylic Acid). This global shortage is being caused primarily by increased demand for jet engine lubricants and nutritional products for infant and elderly care.

Currently, the most common way of procuring this chemical for industrial/commercial purposes is via isolation from natural resources, usually from palm kernel oil or coconut oil.

top 6
solutions max

Propose a synthetic route (method/process) that is reproducible, reliable, and established, for the preparation of Octanoic Acid which would be easily implemented in commercial manufacturing. Please include a description of your solution and include supporting literature that supports feasibility, as well as examples, if possible.

- Methods of preparation can include:
- Chemical Synthesis
- Biochemical Synthesis
- Enzymatic Bio Transformations

Special consideration will be given to ideas which are outside of a traditional product value chain.

Note: The different chemical reactions chosen to go from a small molecule to a larger molecule is the synthetic route. Starting from small molecules, and using reagents and catalysts, larger molecules are prepared in chemistry reactions.

Submit your solution
This challenge has received 21 submissions
Top 3 share 9000 Next 3 share 1500
3000 T Johns Hopkins University
500 K Purdue University
3000 Square pic 0 1 gmail
3000 M University of South Carolina
500 Square pic mindsumo profile pic crop 2 Brigham Young University
500 T University of California at Davis
Contact Us!
Share your thoughts, ideas and stories with 300,000 peers Write for our Blog