Coconut Oil

Unveiling Stearic Acid Industrial Uses

Stearic acid industrial uses are reaching far and wide. It is one of the most beneficial forms of saturated fatty acids that naturally occur in various plants and animal derivatives is stearic acid, which can be found in a variety of animal and plant fats. The stearic acid market is anticipated to witness substantial growth on a global scale, with its value projected to rise from USD 7.41 billion in 2020 to USD 13.89 billion by 2028. This growth trajectory is expected to be at a CAGR of 7.06% during the forecast period of 2021 to 2028, as reported by GLOBE NEWSWIRE. The market’s strong demand in industries like personal care, soaps, and detergents significantly influences its overall growth, owing to the versatile applications of stearic acid in these sectors. Stearic acid primarily performs the thickening or hardener function when used in cosmetic goods.

stearic acid industrial uses: from skincare to textile

Since it possesses an 18-carbon chain, stearic acid is categorized as a long-chain fatty acid. Shampoos and other cosmetic goods like shaving cream and soap are made mostly using stearic acid. Additionally, it aids in the shape retention of items like bars of soap, candles, oil pastels, and hard candies.

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Stearic acid export shipments from Indonesia were 36.3K, according to Volza’s data on Indonesian exports. 529 Indonesian exporters made these shipments to 2,696 buyers. As the world’s top acid stearic exporter, Indonesia sends most of its products to China, Vietnam, and South Korea. The top 3 exporters of acid stearic are Indonesia (36,282 shipments), Vietnam (30,590 shipments), and India (28,480 shipments), in that order. Here are the most interesting facts about stearic acid industrial uses:

What is stearate acid used for?

Saturated fatty acids like stearic acid have several uses in food, pharmaceutical, and other sectors. To create functional foods, stearic acid can be added. Stearic acid has a modest intestine absorption rate, hence consuming it has no detrimental effects on lipid profiles. Due to this, it is regarded as a “neutral” fatty acid in terms of heart health.

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Application in the pharmaceutical field is also one form of stearic acid industrial uses. A potent drug delivery system can be developed from stearic acid micelles coupled with chitosan. Together, they can improve therapeutic enhancement, effectiveness, delivery stability, and sustained-release qualities. The findings also demonstrated that the environment’s low pH and high ionic strength were favorable to the stability of complexes.

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Why is stearic acid used in lubricant?

Lubricant products are examples of industrial uses of stearic acid application. Because of its superior lubricating qualities, stability, compatibility with other ingredients, and anti-corrosion capabilities, stearic acid is used in lubricants. It creates a shielding coating between moving surfaces to lessen wear and friction.

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Stearic acid can resist high temperatures and intense pressures thanks to its high melting point and thermal stability. Its lubricating qualities can be easily compromised by blending it with other lubricant components. Stearic acid also assists in preventing corrosion of metal surfaces by establishing a barrier against moisture and corrosive elements.

What is in stearic acid?

Stearic acid application is far reaching, thanks to its chemical structure, saturated fatty acid with a long hydrocarbon chain that has 18 carbon atoms and a carboxyl group (COOH) at one end. Each carbon atom in the hydrocarbon chain of stearic acid is linked to two hydrogen atoms in a straight line. Since the hydrogen atoms in the chain are completely saturable, they only form single bonds with one another.

stearic acid industrial uses: from skincare to textile

Stearic acid has a solid, waxy form at room temperature due to its saturation. Stearic acid can be made from materials including cow tallow, cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil and palm oil and is frequently found in both animal and vegetable fats and oils.

What foods have stearic acid?

Stearic acid is naturally present in a variety of foods, both of animal and plant origin. It can be found in animal-based foods such as beef and pork fat, poultry fat, lamb fat, dairy products, eggs, and certain types of fish.

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Plant-based sources of stearic acid include cocoa butter (found in chocolate), shea butter, coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds like almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and avocado. It’s important to remember that the presence and quantity of stearic acid in these foods can vary depending on factors such as the specific source, processing methods, and preparation techniques.

How to obtain stearic acid from coconut oil?

Stearic acid can be derived from various sources, including coconut oil. Coconut oil is a rich source of stearic acid, along with other fatty acids such as lauric acid and myristic acid. Do you know how to get stearic acid from coconut oil?

To obtain stearic acid from coconut oil, a process called fractionation is commonly used. Fractionation involves cooling the coconut oil to a specific temperature, causing the different fatty acids to separate based on their melting points.

stearic acid industrial uses: from skincare to textile

Stearic acid, being a saturated fatty acid with a higher melting point, solidifies and can be separated from the liquid fraction of the oil. The solid stearic acid is then further purified and processed to obtain a high-quality form for various industrial applications, including cosmetics, personal care products, and food production.

What is the solubility of stearic acid?

Stearic acid is sparingly soluble in water due to its nonpolar nature. It is classified as a hydrophobic substance, meaning it does not readily dissolve in water. At room temperature, only a very small amount of stearic acid can dissolve in water, typically less than 0.5 grams per liter. However, stearic acid is highly soluble in organic solvents such as ethanol, ether, chloroform, and other nonpolar solvents. When added to water, stearic acid tends to form aggregates or micelles, where the hydrophilic carboxylate groups are exposed to water while the hydrocarbon chains remain shielded, reducing their contact with water molecules. This behavior contributes to the limited solubility of stearic acid in water.

What is the formula of stearic acid?

Stearic acid has the molecular formula C18H36O2. It is made up of a long hydrocarbon chain with 18 carbon atoms (C18) and two oxygen atoms (O2) joined by a carboxyl group (-COOH). The hydrocarbon chain is entirely saturated with hydrogen atoms and only has single bonds connecting its carbon atoms. At room temperature, stearic acid has a solid, waxy form as a result of its saturation. It looks as a white solid in solid form and smells mildly unpleasant and oily. Stearic acid has an acidic nature thanks to the carboxyl group at the end of the hydrocarbon chain.

What is the stearic acid structure?

18 carbon atoms are organized in a straight line to form a lengthy hydrocarbon chain that makes up the linear structure of stearic acid. Due to the maximum number of hydrogen atoms being attached to each carbon atom, this saturated hydrocarbon chain only contains single bonds throughout.

stearic acid industrial uses: from skincare to textile

The normally symmetrical chain is devoid of double bonds and branches. The overall structure of stearic acid can be imagined as a rigid, straight chain of carbon atoms connected to hydrogen atoms, with the carboxyl group at one end. Stearic acid has special capabilities due to its structure, such as the capacity to operate as a fatty acid in a variety of industrial and biological processes.

What is the pH of stearic acid?

Stearic acid is a weak acid due to its fatty acid nature. The concentration of stearic acid as well as the other components in the solution has an impact on its pH. When stearic acid is pure, it does not completely dissociate in water, leaving behind a low concentration of hydrogen ions (H+) and a somewhat acidic pH. However, the exact pH value may alter depending on variables like temperature, concentration, and the presence of additional acids or bases. Stearic acid typically has a pH of 4-6, regarded as acidic.

What are the uses of stearic acid for skin?

Cosmetic products are examples of stearic acid industrial uses. Due of its advantageous characteristics, stearic acid is frequently utilized in skincare products. It functions as an emollient, softening and moisturizing the skin by creating a barrier that prevents water loss.

stearic acid industrial uses: from skincare to textile

Additionally, stearic acid helps creams and lotions distribute and absorb by adding to their smooth texture. It may thicken and stabilize compositions, ensuring that skincare products have the right consistency and a long shelf life. Stearic acid also has cleaning effects that can aid in clearing the skin’s surface of debris and pollutants. Overall, the moisturizing, emollient, texturizing, and cleaning properties of stearic acid make it a valuable component in skincare products.

What are the sources of stearic acid?

Both plant and animal sources of stearic acid are possible. Cattle, sheep, and pig fats and oils are examples of animal-based sources. Common sources of stearic acid from animal fats are beef tallow and lard. Vegetable oils, including cocoa butter, shea butter, palm oil, and coconut oil, are plant-based sources of stearic acid.

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These oils may be extracted and treated to get fatty acids since they are high in stearic acid. Stearic acid can also be produced chemically. However, most of the stearic acid used in commerce comes from natural sources.

What is the use of stearic acid for hair?

One of  stearic acid industrial uses is in personal care products, especially hair care. There are several uses for stearic acid in hair care products. In hair conditioners and styling treatments, it can serve as an emulsifying agent, assisting in the blending and stabilization of the components. Stearic acid also acts as a thickener, which affects the thickness and consistency of shampoos, conditioners, and styling creams. Additionally, it functions as a conditioning agent, hydrating and softening the hair to improve its general manageability and look. Stearic acid contributes significantly to enhancing the performance and effectiveness of hair care products because to its multifunctional qualities.

Is stearic acid good for your face?

Stearic acid can be beneficial for your face when used in skincare products in appropriate concentrations. It functions as an emollient, helping to soften and moisturize the skin, while forming a protective barrier to prevent moisture loss. Stearic acid also contributes to the smooth texture of creams and lotions, aiding in their spreadability and absorption.

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However, it’s important to note that individual skin types and sensitivities may vary. Some people with acne-prone or sensitive skin may find stearic acid to be comedogenic or irritating. As with any skincare ingredient, it is advisable to patch test and consider personal skin preferences before incorporating products containing stearic acid into your skincare routine.

Does stearic acid clog pores?

Stearic acid has a relatively low potential to clog pores, but its comedogenicity can vary depending on factors such as individual skin type, concentration, and formulation. While stearic acid itself is considered to have a low comedogenic rating, meaning it is unlikely to cause pore blockages, the final outcome can also depend on the specific combination of ingredients in a skincare product. Some individuals with oily or acne-prone skin may be more sensitive to the occlusive nature of stearic acid, which could potentially contribute to pore clogging. It is always advisable to consider personal skin preferences, perform patch tests, and consult with a dermatologist to determine the best skincare regimen for your skin type.

What is the negative effect of stearic acid?

Stearic acid is generally considered safe for use in skincare products and is well-tolerated by most individuals. However, some people with sensitive or acne-prone skin may experience negative effects from stearic acid. It has the potential to cause clogged pores or acne breakouts, particularly in high concentrations or when combined with other comedogenic ingredients.

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Additionally, excessive use of stearic acid or prolonged exposure to high concentrations may lead to skin dryness or irritation. It is important to be aware of individual skin sensitivities and to consider patch testing before using products containing stearic acid, especially if you have specific concerns or pre-existing skin conditions.

Can I use cetyl alcohol and stearic acid together?

Yes, formulas can combine cetyl alcohol with stearic acid, especially in skincare and cosmetic items. A common emollient, emulsifier, and thickening ingredient is cetyl alcohol, a fatty alcohol made from natural sources such coconut or palm oil.

On the other side, stearic acid serves as an emulsifier, thickener, and conditioning agent. Cetyl alcohol and stearic acid can enhance a product’s texture, stability, and emollient qualities when used together. Due to its compatibility, creams, lotions, and other formulations with acceptable consistency and moisturizing properties can be produced. To ensure compatibility and obtain the required product qualities, as with any component combination, it’s crucial to take into account the unique formulation needs and conduct the necessary testing.

What is stearic acid for textile industry?

In the textile industry, stearic acid finds several applications. One of its primary uses is as a lubricant or sizing agent for textiles. When applied during the manufacturing process, stearic acid helps reduce friction between fibers, facilitating smoother yarn production and enhancing the efficiency of textile machinery.

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It can also act as a softening agent, improving the feel and drape of fabrics. Additionally, stearic acid can aid in the dyeing process by promoting the even distribution of dyes and enhancing color fastness. Its versatility and beneficial properties make stearic acid a valuable additive in the textile industry, contributing to improved manufacturing processes and finished textile products.

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