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Stearic acid, also known as octadecanoic acid, is one of the most common long-chain fatty acids, produced primarily from fats and oils. It is found in a wide range of applications, including cosmetics and personal care products, rubber processing, food industry and pharmaceutical industry.

Various methods of production are used to produce stearic acid. These include hydrolysis, hydrogenation and distillation.

Methods of stearic acid manufacturing involve the steps of selecting palm oil or other grease as raw material, according to the weight ratio of the raw oil to water being 95-105:55-65 (being preferably 100:60) and controlling the temperature of controlled hydrolysis to 245-260 DEG C, and guaranteeing that the pressure of hydrolysis is 48-55bar.

In addition, a process for stearic acid purification involves forming a solution of impure stearic acid in a solvent comprising a saturated or unsaturated non-aromatic ketone having from 4 to 9 carbon atoms, lowering the temperature of the solution of the impure stearic acid and the ketone solvent to a temperature at which crystallization of pure stearic acid takes place and separating the crystallized stearic acid from the mother liquor.

The stearic acid market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8.6% in the upcoming years owing to increased demand for cosmetics and personal care products. Moreover, growing demand for bio-based chemicals due to decreasing petrochemical dependence is also expected to boost the industry. However, high product prices and volatile raw materials owing to supply-demand imbalances may impact the growth of the market.

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