In the last ten years, the development of organic products has increased significantly due to the strong interest in a more diverse energy supply, ecological sustainability and a climate-neutral bioeconomy. The initial biorefinery strategy, which primarily focused on producing low carbon organic products, has recently been switched to a strategy focused on producing high carbon, high performance organic products with unique properties and value propositions. One such product is Lubricant Base Oil (LBO), which represents a global lubricants market of over $ 150 billion and is used in a variety of industrial, automotive, marine, metalworking, consumer and specialty applications. The application landscape of lubricants has changed significantly over the past decade due to environmental regulations and the growing demand for sustainable lubricants to mitigate regulatory challenges and improve carbon footprint. Currently only 3% LBOs are made from bio-based triglyceride / fatty acid. Due to the low oxidation stability and the high susceptibility to hydrolysis, these bio-based LBOs have narrow applications. Therefore, research, development and commercialization efforts for (hemi-) cellulosic LBOs to meet market demand have gained momentum in recent years. This Review describes strategies for the production of (hemi-) cellulosic LBOs via carbon-carbon coupling and hydrodeoxygenation chemistries. We emphasize the coupling strategies to create LBOs with branched architecture to replace petroleum-based poly--olefins. A structure-property relationship for setting the key specifications of LBOs as a function of the molecular architecture is illustrated. The mechanistic understanding and the molecular interactions of multi-furan substrates with the active sites of complex multifunctional catalysts are described. In addition, techno-economic and life cycle analyzes are summarized along with ongoing challenges and future opportunities.


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