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Stearic acid

Fatty acid The main application and effect Iso-stearic acid and its derivatives Toxicity Limited use Standards for Use of Food Additives Chemical Properties Uses Production method

CAS No.57-11-4
Chemical Name:Stearic acid
Synonyms:C18;pd185;C18:0;naa173;NAA180;PD 185;groco54;groco55;groco58;groco59
Molecular Formula:C18H36O2
Formula Weight:284.48
MOL File:57-11-4.mol
Stearic acid Property
Melting point : 67-72 °C(lit.)
Boiling point : 361 °C(lit.)
density : 0.84
vapor pressure : 1 mm Hg ( 173.7 °C)
FEMA : 3035
refractive index : 1.4299
Fp : >230 °F
storage temp. : 2-8°C
form : powder
Water Solubility : 0.1-1 g/100 mL at 23 ºC
Merck : 14,8804
BRN : 608585
CAS DataBase Reference: 57-11-4(CAS DataBase Reference)
NIST Chemistry Reference: Octadecanoic acid(57-11-4)
Hazard Codes : Xi,F
Risk Statements : 38-36/37/38-11
Safety Statements : 37/39-26-16
WGK Germany : 3
RTECS : WI2800000
HS Code : 38231100
Hazardous Substances Data: 57-11-4(Hazardous Substances Data)

Stearic acid Chemical Properties,Usage,Production

Fatty acid
Stearic acid is one of several major long-chain fatty acids comprising oils and fats. It is presented in animal fats, oil and some kinds of vegetable oils as wellin the form of glycerides. These oils, after hydrolysis, produce the stearic acid.
Stearic acid is a fatty acid widely existing in nature and has the general chemical properties of carboxylic acids. Almost all kinds of fat and oil contain certain amount of stearic acid with the content in the animal fats being relative high. For example, the content in the butter can reach up to 24% while the content in vegetable oil is relative low with the value in tea oil being 0.8% and the oil in palm being 6%. However, the content in cocoa can reach as high as 34%.
There are two major approaches for industrial production of stearic acid, namely fractionation and compression method. Add decomposition agent to the hydrogenated oil, and then hydrolyze to give the crude fatty acid, further go through washing with water, distillation, bleaching to obtain the finished products with glycerol as the byproduct.
Most domestic manufacturers use animal fat for production. Some kinds of production technology will result in the incompletion of the distillation of fatty acid which produce stimulating odor at the time of the plastic processing and high temperatures. Although these odor is of no toxic but they will have certain effect on the working conditions and the natural environment. Most imported form of stearic acid takes vegetable oil as the raw materials, the production processes are more advanced; the produced stearic acid is of stable performance, good lubrication property and less odor in the application.
Stearic acid is mainly used for the production of stearates such as sodium stearate, magnesium stearate, calcium stearate, lead stearate, aluminum stearate, cadmium stearate, iron stearate, and potassium stearate. The sodium or potassium salt of stearic acid is the component of soap. Although sodium stearate has a less decontamination ability than sodium palmitate, but its presence may increase the hardness of soap.
Take butter as raw material, go through sulfuric acid or pressurized method for decomposition. The free fatty acids was first subject to water pressure method for removing the palmitic acid and oleic acid at 30~40 ℃, and then dissolved in ethanol, followed by addition of barium acetate or magnesium acetate which precipitates stearate. Then further add dilute sulfuric acid to get the free stearate acid, filter and take it, and re-crystallize in ethanol to obtain the pure stearic acid.
The above information is edited by the chemicalbook of Dai Xiongfeng.
The main application and effect
Stearic acid is widely used in cosmetics, plastics plasticizers, mold release agents, stabilizers, surfactants, rubber vulcanization accelerator, waterproof agent, polishing agent, metal soap, metal mineral flotation agents, softeners and pharmaceuticals as well as other organic chemicals. Stearic acid can also be used as the solvents of oil-soluble paint, crayons lubrication agent, stencil lighting agent and the emulsifier of stearic acid glyceride.
Stearic acid can also be widely used in the manufacturing of PVC pipe, sheet material, profiles and film and is the PVC heat stabilizers with good lubricity and excellent stability against light and heat. In the application of polyvinyl chloride pipe, stearic acid helps prevent the "coke" during the processing and is effective heat stabilizer during PVC film processing while also preventing the discoloration of the finished film discoloration caused by exposure.
Stearic acid has become the additive for lubrication, plasticization and stabilization of the filled masterbatch. Stearic acid can effectively improve the coating activating effect of inorganic powder and increase the flow rate of materials. When there is demand for a large flow rate of the melt for material with inorganic powder accounting for the most part, an appropriate increase in the content of stearic acid can significantly increase the melt flow rate of material. However, the amount of stearic acid used in filled masterbatch also have threshold with its amount being controlled in about 1% of the total mass. If the added amount is over-excessive, it will not only cause the decrease of the quality and the performance of plastic products but also generate sticky substance in the die lip location of the manufacturing equipment of the plastic products, affecting the production efficiency and product quality.
The mono-or multi-alcohol ester of stearic acid can be used as cosmetics, nonionic surfactants and plasticizers. Its alkali metal salt can be dissolved in water and is a major component of soap. Other kinds of salts can be used as waterproofing agents, lubricants, bactericides, coating additives and PVC stabilizers.
Iso-stearic acid and its derivatives
Iso-stearic acid is a branched-chain methyl fatty acid and is widely distributed in nature. Humans had first discovered that the feathers of waterfowl were coated with wax containing a high percentage of branched-chain molecules. The wax is actually branched chain aliphatic methyl group (which accounts for about two-thirds of the total fatty acids) and branched and un-branched methyl fatty alcohols. It can protect the waterfowl at various climatic conditions as well as keep the feathers being in the optimal condition. It was later found that the human skin lipids contain 15% free branched fatty acids and 1.29% free branched fatty alcohol. Since the 1980s, isostearic acid and its derivatives had been more and more applied to cosmetics with expanding range of applications. In 1981, the US FDA had listed 142 kinds of new materials for cosmetics with 5% containing isostearic acid. Currently, there are also nearly 20 species of commercially available isostearic acid and its derivatives.
Isostearic acid combines the advantages of both stearic acid (excellent oxidation stability) and oleic acid (low freezing point). Isostearic acid and its derivatives are all liquid at room temperature except isostearic-monoglyceride which reduces the difficulty in the production technology of cold emulsion. The emulsion may contain deterioration or decomposition components at high temperature such as enzymes, plant extracts, vitamins and proteins.
Excellent emolliency is an outstanding advantage for isostearic acid and its derivatives. Emolliency is usually evaluated according to the skin feeling of initial application and after-feeling. The state of the left lipid membrane on the skin after using is completely determined by the flow properties of lipid membranes such as the viscosity, density, moving speed of the film and friction factor. Thus, the felt emolliency should be correlated with friction factor.
Good ventilation is another outstanding advantage of isostearic acid and its derivatives. The lipid membranes formed on the skin is permeable to vapor, oxygen and carbon dioxide. This is very important for maintaining the physiological function of the skin.
Reference: Qiubin Yi edited; “Daquan of cosmetic chemistry and technology”, volume 1, Beijing: China Light Industry Press.
Natural fatty acids; non-toxic.
GRAS (FDA, §172.615, §184.1090, 2000).
LD50: 21500mg/kg (rat via skin).
Limited use
FEMA (mg/kg): soft drinks: 2.0~ 10; candy: 4000; bakery: 3.5.
GB 2760-2001: candy, gum base agent; take GMP as limit.
Standards for Use of Food Additives

Chemical Properties
Pure product appears as white shiny soft small pieces. It is slightly soluble in water, soluble in alcohol, acetone, easily soluble in benzene, chloroform, ether, carbon tetrachloride, carbon disulfide, amyl acetate and toluene.
It can be used as natural rubber, synthetic rubber (except butyl rubber) and latex curing active agent. It can also be used as raw material of plastic plasticizer and stabilizer. Medicine: it can be used for the preparation of ointments, suppositories, etc., as well as being used in the manufacture of cosmetics, candles, waterproof agent and polishing agent. The product can be used as a lubricant, defoamers and food additives in the food industry as well as the raw materials of glycerol stearate, stearic acid sorbitol anhydride esters and sucrose esters.
It can also be used as standard reference product for gas analysis as well as the preparation of soap, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and other organic chemicals.
Production method
There are two major approaches for industrial production of stearic acid, namely fractionation and compression method. Add decomposition agent to the hydrogenated oil, and then hydrolyze to give the crude fatty acid, further go through washing with water, distillation, bleaching to obtain the finished products with glycerol as the byproduct.
Compression method takes animal oil as raw material. Have animal oil subject to hydrolysis in the catalysis of zinc oxide at pressure of 1.17~1.47 MPa, further go through pickling, washing, distillation, cooling, freezing, press for removal of oleic acid to get the finished products.
Heat the cotton seed oil, rice bran oil, or soybean oil in the presence of a hydrolyzing agent under normal pressure to boiling with hydrolysis of 1.5 h and harden to saturated fatty acid. Oleic acid hydrogenation;
Use the C10~C20 and C18~C20 fraction of the synthetic fatty acid as raw materials, go through melting, pickling (with 1% sulfuric acid) mold, pressing, melting, pickling, dehydrating and crystallization to obtain it.
It can be obtained through the low-temperature segment separation of the mixed fatty acid.
It can also be made through the hydrogenation of oleic acid.
Chemical Properties
white flakes
ChEBI: A C18 straight-chain saturated fatty acid component of many animal and vegetable lipids. As well as in the diet, it is used in hardening soaps, softening plastics and in making cosmetics, candles and plastics.
General Description
White solid with a mild odor. Floats on water.
Air & Water Reactions
Slightly soluble in water.
Reactivity Profile
Stearic acid is incompatible with strong oxidizers and strong bases. Stearic acid is also incompatible with reducing agents.
Health Hazard
Compound is generally considered nontoxic. Inhalation of dust irritates nose and throat. Dust causes mild irritation of eyes.
Fire Hazard
Stearic acid is combustible. Stearic acid can heat spontaneously.
Stearic acid Preparation Products And Raw materials
Raw materials
D-Sorbitol Glycerol tristearate cow oil SOYBEAN OIL COTTONSEED OIL Zinc oxide COCOA BUTTER Benzenesulfonic acid FATTY ACID MIXTURE PASSION FLOWER OIL Castor oil Oils, animal, mixed with vegetable oil Me esters, sulfurized Sorbitol Oleic acid Sodium hydroxide Fatty acids, C8-10, triesters with trimethylolpropane RICE BRAN OIL PALM OIL
Preparation Products
Emulsifier FM water proofing agent 703 Potassium stearate softener TC Water quality stabilizer POLY(ETHYLENE GLYCOL) (N) DISTEARATE N,N'-Ethylenebis(stearamide) Cadmium stearate calcium bis(2-(1-carboxylatoethoxy)-1-methyl-2-oxoethyl) distearate Dromostanolone Hydroxyaluminum distearate VINYL STEARATE Erythromycin stearate lauryl glycerine stearate softener IS Barium stearate Butyl stearate softening agent EST Polyoxyethylene stearate ROSAPROSTOL Lead stearate,dibasic Greasing agent,cationic softening agent SCI-A calcium stearyl lactate EXXON BUTYL RUBBER 065 METHYL STEARATE Water proof agent CR softening agent HC Aluminate coupling agent Tween series N,N-Dimethyldodecylamine ISOPROPYL STEARATE Polyvinyl chloride pipe material SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE L-ASCORBYL 6-STEARATE Octadecanoyl chloride Span series BRIJ(R) 76 Zinc stearate Aluminum octadecanoate
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