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Green Chemistry Breakthrough: Tommaso Cogliano's Journey from Batch to Continuous Epoxidation of Vegetable Oils

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In a significant stride towards sustainable chemical production, M.Sc. (Tech.) Tommaso Cogliano is set to defend his doctoral thesis on a greener pathway for epoxide production using vegetable oils at Åbo Akademi University. Titled "Vegetable Oils Epoxidation: from Batch to Continuous Process," Cogliano's work heralds a new era in the industrial application of green chemistry, offering a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional epoxide synthesis methods.

Epoxides play a crucial role as industrial building blocks, essential in creating a myriad of organic compounds. The shift towards Epoxidized Vegetable Oils (EVOs) underscores a commitment to renewable resources, marking a departure from non-sustainable practices. EVOs have already marked their territory in various applications, from plasticizers in PVC resins to bio-lubricants, showcasing their versatility and environmental benefits.

The heart of Cogliano's research lies in the application of the Prilezhaev reaction method for epoxidation, a green chemistry approach that highlights the potential of vegetable oils as a valuable feedstock. By transitioning from a semibatch to a continuous process, his work promises enhanced productivity and selectivity, overcoming the limitations of current industrial practices.

Scheduled for public defense on 2 February 2024, this thesis not only represents a collaborative effort between Åbo Akademi University and the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II but also stands as a testament to the global push towards sustainable industrial processes. Under the scrutiny of Professor Stefan Haase and the guidance of Academy Professor Tapio Salmi, Cogliano's research paves the way for future innovations in chemical and process engineering.

Tommaso Cogliano's doctoral thesis embodies the principles of green chemistry, offering a promising solution to the pressing need for sustainable industrial processes. By leveraging the renewable nature of vegetable oils for epoxide production, his work sets a benchmark for environmental stewardship in chemical engineering. As the Nordic region continues to lead in sustainable innovation, Cogliano's research contributes to a broader understanding of how green technology can be integrated into our industries, driving forward the agenda for a more sustainable future.

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