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.[1]

Def. any "oily, water-resistant, [solid or semisolid][2] substance;[3] normally long-chain hydrocarbons, alcohols or esters"[4] is called a wax.

Animal waxes edit

Chemical structure diagram shows cetyl palmitate. Credit: Hbf878.

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.[1]

Beeswaxes edit

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."[5]

Chinese waxes edit

Chinese wax is produced by the scale insect Ceroplastes ceriferus.

Lanolin edit

Lanolin is from the sebaceous glands of sheep.

Shellac waxes edit

Shellac wax is from the lac insect Kerria lacca.

Plant waxes edit

Plants secrete waxes into and on the surface of their cuticles as a way to control evaporation, wettability and hydration.[6] 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.[7]

Bayberry waxes edit

Bayberry wax is from the surface wax of the fruits of the bayberry shrub, Myrica faya.

Candelilla wax edit

Candelilla wax is from the Mexican shrubs Euphorbia cerifera and Euphorbia antisyphilitica.

Carnauba wax edit

Carnauba wax is from the leaves of the Carnauba palm, Copernicia cerifera.

Castor waxes edit

Castor wax is catalytically hydrogenated castor oil.

Esparto waxes edit

Esparto wax is a byproduct of making paper from esparto grass, Macrochloa tenacissima.

Japan waxes edit

Japan wax is a vegetable triglyceride (not a true wax), from the berries of Rhus and Toxicodendron species.

Jojoba waxes edit

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 waxes edit

Ouricury wax is from the Brazilian feather palm, Syagrus coronata.

Rice bran waxes edit

Rice bran wax is obtained from rice bran (Oryza sativa).

Soy waxes edit

Soy wax is from soybean oil.

Tallow tree waxes edit

Tallow Tree wax is from the seeds of the tallow tree Triadica sebifera.

Petroleum waxes edit

Paraffin waxes edit

Prills of paraffin wax are shown. Credit: Gmhofmann.

In waxes of plant origin, characteristic mixtures of unesterified hydrocarbons may predominate over esters.[7]

Brown coal waxes edit

Montan wax is a fossilized wax extracted from brown coal and lignite.[8]

Lignite waxes edit

Ozocerites are found in lignite beds.

Ceresin waxes edit

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.[9]

Peat waxes edit

Raw peat wax is typically a mixture of three primary components: asphalt, resins and wax.[10]

See also edit

References edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Wilhelm Riemenschneider1 and Hermann M. Bolt "Esters, Organic" Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 2005, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a09_565.pub2
  2. Montrealais (19 May 2021). "wax". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 10 September 2021. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  3. Paul G (13 July 2004). "wax". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 1 February 2020. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  4. SemperBlotto (4 April 2006). "wax". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 1 February 2020. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  5. Sibel Irmak, Nurhan Turgut Dunford and Jeff Milligan (March 2006). "Policosanol contents of beeswax, sugar cane and wheat extracts". Food Chemistry 95 (2): 312-318. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2005.01.009. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814605000816. Retrieved 15 July 2021. 
  6. Uwe Wolfmeier, Hans Schmidt, Franz-Leo Heinrichs, Georg Michalczyk, Wolfgang Payer, Wolfram Dietsche, Klaus Boehlke, Gerd Hohner, Josef Wildgruber (2002). Waxes In: Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a28_103. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 EA Baker (1982). DF Cutler, KL Alvin, CE Price. ed. Chemistry and morphology of plant epicuticular waxes In: The Plant Cuticle. Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-199920-3. 
  8. Ivanovsky, Leo (1952). Wax chemistry and technology. https://books.google.com/books?id=urFTAAAAMAAJ. 
  9. Akrochem (15 July 2003). "AKROCHEM® CERESIN WAX" (PDF). p. 1. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  10. A. J. Howard. D. Hamer, The Extraction and Constitution of Peat Wax. A Review of Peat Wax Chemistry. The Journal of the Americal Oil Chemists' Society. October 1960 No. 10 Vol. 37 Page 478

Further reading edit

External links edit