Today in this blog let’s discuss some of the properties, structure as well uses of one of the most popular acids which have a wide variety of applications, which is stearic acid. The stearic acid structure can be defined as saturated acid which is of 18-carbon chains of fatty acid. The stearic acid formula can be defined as C36H70MgO4.
It is also known as stearate as it belongs to the class of organic compounds. Stearic acid is usually found in solid-state, and it is insoluble in water. Stearic acid is said to have a long relationship with the human body as it is found in most human tissues, and small amounts in human blood, saliva, and urine.
In spite of the fact that stearic acid can be found in the human body. It can also be found in many substances outside of the human body. It can be found in food items such as cabbage, tamarind, pili nut, and many more. It is usually found in plants and vegetable fats.
About its physical properties, it is a colorless (whitish) substance, solid as we discussed earlier, sometimes in the form of crystals. It tastes and smells like tallow. It is also found in many plants and animal fats.
Stearic acid uses include its uses in soaps, phonograph records, candles, food packages, modeling compounds, and in the making of other chemical compounds. Pesticides also contain some amount of stearic acid.
Application for stearic acid includes that it is mainly used in the manufacturing of detergents, cosmetics, soaps, and other products such as shaving cream, shampoos, etc, and so on.
One of the most important advantages of stearic acid is that the product is that when it is added in its molten form to anything, it crystallizes overtime under a controlled environment. This is the reason it has a wide range of applications in the soap, detergents, and cosmetic industries.
Alongside stearic acid, esters of it are also used which are responsible for the pearly effect in shampoos, soaps, and other products. Grease and PVC also have some important stearate salts such as zinc, cadmium, calcium, lithium, and many more have similar properties. Production of automobiles tires also includes some salts of stearic acid.
Calcium stearate also acts as a releasing agent in plasters. In its powder form, it is used in many cases as a lubricating agent for playing cards to make sure the smooth motion of cards while fanning. It is also used as a foam release agent when baking foam latex in stone molds. It acts as a lubricant when filling capsules using a dry ingredient.
The ingredient that holds together tablets and breaks it apart at proper timing is stearic acid. Due to its being inexpensive, nontoxic, and inert it has many applications in various industries. Let’s dive into some of the exposures to stearic acid in our day to day life. Workers working with stearic acid may have direct skin contact with it. As it is non-toxic even if it is released in the environment, it would dissipate in the air causing no harm to the environment. Even if small particles are released into the air, it may fall on the ground not expecting to be broken down by sunlight.