Candelilla Wax

Title: Candelilla Wax
CAS Registry Number: 8006-44-8
Literature References: Obtained from the candelilla plants; Euphorbia antisyphilitica Zucc., Euphorbiaceae and E. cerifera Alcocer (which is only doubtfully distinct from E. antisyphilitica) are now the principal sources of candelilla wax. Pedilanthus pavonis Boiss. and P. aphyllus Boiss. are secondary sources, yielding a wax of lower melting range and lower saponification number. Most of the wax is produced in Mexico by immersing the plants in boiling water containing sulfuric acid and skimming off the wax which rises to the surface as described by Dickinson, Am. J. Pharm. 91, 808 (1919); Hodge, Sineath, Econ. Bot. 10, 134 (1956). The main constituent is the hydrocarbon hentriacontane. Brief review: C. S. Letcher in Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology vol. 24 (Wiley-Interscience, New York, 3rd ed., 1984) pp 468-469.
Properties: Brownish to yellowish-brown, hard, brittle, easily pulverizable lumps. d 0.950-0.990. mp 68-70°. Saponification number 50-65. Acid number 10-20. Iodine number 30-35. Practically insoluble in water. Sparingly sol in alcohol; sol in acetone, benzene, carbon disulfide, decalin, hot petr ether, gasoline, oils, turpentine, hot chloroform, carbon tetrachloride.
Melting point: mp 68-70°
Density: d 0.950-0.990
Use: Manuf cosmetics, rubber substitutes, furniture and leather polishes, candles, sealing wax, phonograph records; for waterproofing boxes and fabrics; electric insulations; lithographic, printing, stamping and writing inks; molding compositions; sizing paper; hardening other waxes; protective coating for citrus fruits; formerly in chewing gum.
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Candelilla wax is a wax derived from the leaves of the small Candelilla shrub native to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, Euphorbia cerifera and Euphorbia antisyphilitica, from the family Euphorbiaceae. It is yellowish-brown, hard, brittle, aromatic, and opaque to translucent.