Optimized procedures are described for the synthesis of methyl 9(R)-hydroxyoctadecanoate (2) and methyl 9-oxo-octadecanoate (3) based on Dimorphotheca pluvialis seed oil. Simple countercurrent separation and Oppenauer oxidation (benzoquinone, aluminum t-butoxide) were applied to prepare 2 and 3 in more than 90% yield. The procedures are potentially applicable on industrial scale and well suited for upgrading aged oils.
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