Waxes are mixtures of organic compounds that characteristically consist of long aliphatic alkyl chains, although aromatic compounds may also be present: (natural waxes) unsaturated bonds and include various functional groups such as fatty acids, primary and secondary alcohols, ketones, aldehydes and fatty acid esters; (synthetic waxes) often consist of homologous series of long-chain aliphatic hydrocarbons (alkanes or paraffins) that lack functional groups.
Waxes of animal origin typically consist of wax esters derived from a variety of fatty acids and carboxylic alcohols.
Spermaceti: (occurs in large amounts in the head oil of the sperm whale) one of its main constituents is cetyl palmitate, another ester of a fatty acid and a fatty alcohol. Lanolin is a wax obtained from wool, consisting of esters of sterols.
A major component is myricyl palmitate which is an ester of triacontanol and palmitic acid.
"The total [polycosanol] PC contents of wheat straw (164 mg/kg) and sugar cane peel (270 mg/kg) were of the same order of magnitude. The total PC contents of brown beeswax were about 20 and 45 times higher than those of the [wheat germ oil] WGO-solids and sugar cane peel, respectively. Commercial dietary supplements contained less total PC than were claimed on the product labels."
Chinese wax is produced by the scale insect Ceroplastes ceriferus.
Lanolin is from the sebaceous glands of sheep.
Shellac wax is from the lac insect Kerria lacca.
Plants secrete waxes into and on the surface of their cuticles as a way to control evaporation, wettability and hydration. The epicuticular waxes of plants are mixtures of substituted long-chain aliphatic hydrocarbons, containing alkanes, alkyl esters, fatty acids, primary and secondary alcohols, diols, ketones and aldehydes.
Bayberry wax is from the surface wax of the fruits of the bayberry shrub, Myrica faya.
Candelilla wax is from the Mexican shrubs Euphorbia cerifera and Euphorbia antisyphilitica.
Carnauba wax is from the leaves of the Carnauba palm, Copernicia cerifera.
Castor wax is catalytically hydrogenated castor oil.
Esparto wax is a byproduct of making paper from esparto grass, Macrochloa tenacissima.
Japan wax is a vegetable triglyceride (not a true wax), from the berries of Rhus and Toxicodendron species.
Jojoba wax is a composed almost entirely (~97%) of mono-esters of long-chain fatty acids and alcohols (wax ester), accompanied by only a tiny fraction of triglyceride esters, from the seed of Simmondsia chinensis.
Ouricury wax is from the Brazilian feather palm, Syagrus coronata.
Rice bran waxesEdit
Rice bran wax is obtained from rice bran (Oryza sativa).
Soy wax is from soybean oil.
Tallow tree waxesEdit
Tallow Tree wax is from the seeds of the tallow tree Triadica sebifera.
In waxes of plant origin, characteristic mixtures of unesterified hydrocarbons may predominate over esters.
Brown coal waxesEdit
Montan wax is a fossilized wax extracted from brown coal and lignite.
Ozocerites are found in lignite beds.
Ceresine occurs naturally as Ozokerite.
Ceresin (also cerin, cerasin, cerosin, ceresin wax or ceresine) is a wax derived from ozokerite by treating with heat and sulfuric acid. It is an alternative to beeswax in ointments.
Raw peat wax is typically a mixture of three primary components: asphalt, resins and wax.
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