Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating General Science Oleic acid versus triglycerides

  • Oleic acid versus triglycerides

    Posted by belassi on June 25, 2015 at 12:22 am

    This is a note for those interested in the differences in these components.

    I normally use 32% of high-oleic safflower oil when making CP soap. It is higher in oleic acid than olive oil; it’s almost entirely oleic acid in fact. And it gives great results.
    This time I decided to use oleic acid instead. Now, the oleic acid in the safflower oil is in the form of triglycerides, I know. However I did not anticipate just how different this is.
    When I added the lye to the oil mix, the whole lot immediately turned into taffy. I broke an electric stirrer trying to mix it, but then it got so hot in a matter of minutes that I was able to stir it by hand with a large stainless spoon. The batch went into gel within minutes and set quickly.
    I do not recommend using pure acids in soap production.
    belassi replied 9 years ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Bobzchemist

    June 25, 2015 at 2:10 am

    We do it all the time - but it requires a very different process.

  • Bill_Toge

    June 25, 2015 at 7:01 am

    that happens because the lye hydrolyses the triglyceride esters in safflower oil to form the acid in situ, and then the sodium salt of the acid - a slow step followed by a fast step

    when you use the acid itself instead of the triglyceride ester, you remove the slow step of the process, and so the sodium salt is formed much more quickly
  • belassi

    June 25, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Thanks guys. Good explanation Bill.

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