Castor Oil

Topics Covered

Background

Source

Characteristics

Derivatives

Blown Castor Oil

Hydrogenated Castor Oil

Applications

Background

Castor oil (or ricinus oil) is a nonvolatile fatty oil extracted from plants. It has been used for many years as a purgative, i.e. a material that induces vomiting. It has the advantage over other mineral oils that it is a renewable resource, is bio-degradable and eco-friendly.

Source

Castor oil comes from the seeds of the castor bean. It is extracted by either pressing or solvent extraction.

The beans themselves are produced primarily in India and Brazil and to a lesser extent China.

Characteristics

         Castor oil consists almost entirely of the triglycerides ricinoleic acid

         It is ranges in colour from colourless to greenish.

         It is a viscous liquid

         Non-drying

         It has a faint but characteristic odour

         It has a slightly acrid taste and leaves a nauseating after taste.

         Many derivatives can be produced which have a similar chemical composition to petroleum based oils

Derivatives

Blown Castor Oil

Blown Castor oil is a derivative that has a higher viscosity and specific gravity compared to natural castor oil. These properties are induced by bubbling air thorough it at elevated temperatures. Its main use is as a plasticiser for inks, lacquers and adhesives.

Hydrogenated Castor Oil

Hydrogenated castor oil (HCO) or castor wax is a hard, brittle wax that is insoluble. It is produced by adding hydrogen in the presence of a nickel catalyst. It is mainly used for coatings and greases where resistance to moisture, oils and other petrochemical products is required.

Applications

There are many uses for castor oil and its derivatives. Some of these include:

         Plastics

         Textiles and textile finishing materials

         Paints and varnishes

         Cosmetics and hair oils

         Inks

         Adhesives.

•        Synthetic resins

•        Fibres

•        Drying oils

•        Plasticisers

•        Fungistatic (fungus-growth-inhibiting) compounds

•        Embalming fluid

•        Soaps

•        Lubricants, greases and hydraulic fluids

         Dyeing aids

 

Source: AZoM.com

 

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