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Palmitic Acid

Palmitic acid is used to produce soaps, cosmetics, and release agents. These applications utilize sodium palmitate, which is commonly obtained by saponification of palm oil. To this end, palm oil, rendered from palm tree (species Elaeis Guineensis), is treated with sodium hydroxide (in the form of caustic soda or lye), which causes hydrolysis of the ester groups. This procedure affords glycerol and sodium palmitate.
Because it is inexpensive and adds texture to processed foods (convenience food), palmitic acid and its sodium salt find wide use including foodstuffs. Sodium palmitate is permitted as a natural additive in organic products. The aluminium salt is used as a thickening agent of napalm used in military actions.
Hydrogenation of palmitic acid yields cetyl alcohol, which is used to produce detergents and cosmetics.



CAS Number : 57-10-3


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