IntroductionCastor wax is derived from castor oil. It is also known as hydrogenated castor oil (HCO). This vegetable wax is a little hard in consistency. It neither carries any odor nor can be dissolved in water. It is tasteless. It forms a smooth emulsion when mixed with emulsifiers. It is also compatible with number of other waxes like carnauba wax, beeswax and candelilla wax. Castor wax remains insoluble in most of the solvents. However, at higher temperature it dissolves in certain solvents and oils. Once cooled it takes the form of a gel or a paste. It is highly compatible with other animal, vegetable and mineral waxes.
Production of castor waxCastor wax is produced by a process known as hydrogenation. This process involves chemical combination with element hydrogen and hence the name. Pure castor oil undergoes hydrogenation in presence of a nickel catalyst. Process of hydrogenation raises melting point. It also improves odor, taste and other qualities of resulting product. In this process, hydrogen gas is bubbled into castor oil. Resulting product so obtained gives a viscous waxy consistency which is nothing but castor wax. High concentration of nickel catalyst is required for good results. Reaction taking place is exothermic.
Uses of castor wax
ConclusionCastor wax which in nothing but hydrogenated castor oil is vegetable-derived and manufactured from pure castor oil. It is hard, brittle, tasteless, odorless and insoluble in water and most of the solvents and thus is very popularly used in various cosmetics and hair care products as an emollient and as thickener. It raises melting point of lip care products and also makes creams and lotions more viscous. It is a non-hygroscopic organic derivative of pure castor oil manufactured by hydrogenation process in presence of nickel catalyst. It has a good shelf life and its uses in various industries make it a very popular product.