3707. ---------------. [WILLIAMS, A. E.] Synthetic Food Fats. Food Manuf., vol. 16, 1941, pp. 161-163; Chem. Abs., vol. 35, 1941, p. 7048.
Synthetic fats are produced from the hydrogenation of water gas (equal vols. CO and H2) at 300° with metallic Pt and CrO3 as catalysts, resulting in 10% CH4 and 90% higher paraffin hydrocarbons. The latter are oxidized to solid fat acids at 140°-160° for 6-8 hr. in presence of oxides of Fe, Mn, or V. Esterification is carried out under vacuum at 200°-220° by use of glycerol with a sulfonic acid as catalyst. The synthetic product is not identical with the natural products, but is satisfactory as nutriment. Synthetic lard compares favorably in cost with the wartime price of true lard. Glycerol is hard to obtain in wartime, so in Germany it is synthesized by (1) Hydrogenation of water gas, chlorination resulting in trichloropropane, which, when treated with caustic alkali, produces glycerol or (2) fermentation of glucose with yeast and Na2SO3, then addition of lime and CaCl2 and activated C, filtration, distillation of alcohol, leaving weak glycerol in the still, which is then concentrated and refined. Sometimes substitutes for glycerol are used, such as glycol or mannitol. Certain molds and yeasts synthesize fats.