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Lauric Acid

Lauric Acid in Tradeasia

IUPAC Name

Dodecanoic Acid

Cas Number

0143-07-07

HS Code

29159090

Formula

C12H24O2

Basic Info

Appearance

White Powder Solid

Common Names

-

Packaging

25 kg bags

Brief Overview

Lauric acid or dodecanoic acid is the main fatty acid in coconut oil and in palm kernel oil. It is an organic compound with a molecular formula of C12H24O2. It is a white solid with a faint odor of bay oil. Lauric acid is a non-hazardous substance and is believed to have antimicrobial properties. It is safe to handle. Lauric acid is insoluble in the water but it can be dissolved in organic solvents. Although lauric acid is not soluble in the water, it tends to absorb water from the air that can produce acid causing corrosion in the container if it is in contact with the air. Lauric acid can react with sodium hydroxide resulting in sodium laurate that is soap. Although it is slightly irritating to mucous membranes, it has very low toxicity and so is used in many soaps and shampoos.


Manufacturing Process

Lauric acid naturally exists in coconut oil, litsea cubeba kernel oil, palm kernel oil, and pepper kernel oil in the form of glyceride. It can be derived from the hydrolysis of natural oils and fats in the industry. The coconut oil, water, and catalyst are added into the autoclave and hydrolyzed to glycerol and fatty acid at 250℃ under the pressure of 5MPa. The content of dodecanoic acid is 45%~80% and can be further distilled to obtain dodecanoic acid.

Cosmetics Industry

Lauric acid is used in skincare and beauty products because it possesses anti-microbial and anti-acne properties. It can form monolaurin that is used as a surfactant in cosmetics like deodorant.


Soap and Detergent Industry

Lauric acid can react with natrium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide in a reaction known as saponification. The reaction of lauric acid with NaOH would yield a product that is used for solid soap, whereas that with KOH would yield a product that is used for liquid soap manufacture. Lauric acid also has moisturizing properties. It is also cheaper than other fatty acid substance and is an excellent foaming agent.


Other Applications

The reaction of lauric acid and methanol in the presence of potassium hydroxide as a catalyst can produce biodiesel which is renewable, alternative energy. Lauric Acid also has potential medical usage and is used as a lubricant in plastic manufacture.

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