Stearic Acid Overview

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Stearic acid is a saturated fatty acid with higher hydrocarbons and it’s usually called as Octadeconic acid. Stearic acid is one of the most common saturated fatty acids found in nature and occurs in many animal and vegetable fat oils. Stearic acid can be obtained from the hydrogenation of unsaturated vegetable oils. Stearic acid is one of the most common saturated fatty acids and is found in nature as palmitic acid. Stearic acid is actually a mix of stearic acid and palmitic acid. Stearic acid is available in different grades in the market, such as rubber grade, candle grade and double pressed. The many grades differ on the basis of iodine number, saponification value and acid number.
 

General Properties of Stearic acid

  • Stearic acid is a wax crystalline solid.
  • Stearic acid is practically insoluble in water and fairly soluble in chloroform and other organic solvents.

 

Production of Stearic acid

Stearic acid is commercially synthesised from carbohydrates by fatty acid synthesis and hydrolysis of triglycerides. Stearic acid is commercially produced by treating these fats and oils at a high temperature and pressure, leading to the hydrolysis of triglycerides. Commercial stearic acid is often prepared by the distillation of the product.
 
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  • Detergent and Soap Industry
  • Stearic acid is primarily applied in the production of detergents, soaps, and cosmetics such as shampoos and shaving cream products. Soaps are manufactured from the saponification of stearic acid triglycerides. Esters of stearic acid are used to produce shampoos, soaps, and other cosmetic products. Citric acid can harden soaps and give shampoos a pearly colour and consistency.
     

  • Candles Production
  • Stearic acid candle grade is utilized in the production of candles because of its excellent properties such as hardening the wax and strength of the candle. Stearic acid exhibits properties of activator and thickener in the wax manufacturing process. It also has an impact on the melting point of the wax, improving the durability and consistency of the candle.
     

  • Cosmetic Industry
  • Stearic acid is used in the cosmetic industry because of its property to bind and thicken the products so they adhere smoothly to the skin and have a longer shelf life. The melting point of the stearic acid is above human body temperature, so they allow the cosmetics to adhere for an extended period.
     

  • Rubber Industry
  • Stearic Acid rubber grade is used in vulcanization of surfactants, making plasticizers, softeners, water proofing agents, PVC additives etc. It is used in making tyres. It acts as stock lubricant enabling easy mold flow and release during extrusion.
     

  • Other Applications
  • In the ceramic industry, Stearic acid is a common lubricant in the injection molding and pressing of ceramic powders. It is used in the manufacture of lead acid batteries as a negative plate additive. Stearic acid enhances the hydrophobicity of the negative plate in dry charging process. It also reduces the extension of oxidation of lead in an open atmosphere. Stearic acid is often used to coat metal powders of aluminium and iron. It prevents oxidation of metal powders and allows the metal composition to be stored for a longer time. Stearic acid is used along with castor oil for preparing textile sizing softeners and preparation of automobile tyres in automobile industry. Stearic acid waxy flakes are used as an emulsifying agent in bringing together materials with oil and water together in the medium.
     

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PRODUCT IDENTIFICATION
CAS NO : 57-11-4
EINECS NO : 200-313-4
FORMULA : CH3(CH2)16COOH
MOL WT : 284.48
H.S. CODE : 3823.11
SYNONYMS : n-octadecanoate; 1-heptadecanecarboxylic acid; n-octadecylic acid; cetylacetic acid; Acide octadecylique; Acide stearique; stearophanic acid;

PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES
PHYSICAL STATE : White to yellowish solid
MELTING POINT : 67 – 69 C
BOILING POINT : 361
SPECIFIC GRAVITY : 0.94
SOLUBILITY IN WATER : 0.1-1 g/100 ml at 23 C
VAPOR DENSITY : 9.8
NFPA RATINGS : Health: 1 Flammability: 1 Reactivity: 0
FLASH POINT : 196 C
STABILITY : Stable under ordinary conditions

SALES SPECIFICATION
APPEARANCE : Bead
IODINE VALUE : 0.5 max
ACID VALUE : 208 – 210
SAP VALUE : 209 – 211
TITER : 54 – 56 C
COLOR : 0.5 R / 2.5 Y
CARBON DISTRIBUTION : C14 (1% max) + C16 (62% max) + C18 (45% max)

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PRODUCT IDENTIFICATION
CAS NO : 57-11-4
EINECS NO : 200-313-4
FORMULA : CH3(CH2)16COOH
MOL WT : 284.48
H.S. CODE : 3823.11
SYNONYMS : n-octadecanoate; 1-heptadecanecarboxylic acid; n-octadecylic acid; cetylacetic acid; Acide octadecylique; Acide stearique; stearophanic acid;

PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES
PHYSICAL STATE : White to yellowish solid
MELTING POINT : 67 – 69 C
BOILING POINT : 361
SPECIFIC GRAVITY : 0.94
SOLUBILITY IN WATER : 0.1-1 g/100 ml at 23 C
VAPOR DENSITY : 9.8
NFPA RATINGS : Health: 1 Flammability: 1 Reactivity: 0
FLASH POINT : 196 C
STABILITY : Stable under ordinary conditions

First Aid Measures
Eyes: Flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes, occasionally lifting the upper and lower eyelids. Get medical aid.
Skin: Get medical aid if irritation develops or persists. Flush skin with plenty of soap and water.
Ingestion: If victim is conscious and alert, give 2-4 cupfuls of milk or water. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Get medical aid if irritation or symptoms occur.

Inhalation: Remove from exposure and move to fresh air immediately. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Get medical aid if cough or other symptoms appear.
Notes to Physician: Treat symptomatically and supportively.

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