Wax

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Wax refer to a class of chemical compounds that are plastic (malleable) near ambient temperatures. Characteristically, they melt above 45 °C (113 °F) to give a low viscosity liquid. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in petroleum based solvent. All waxes are organic compounds, both synthetic and naturally occurring.

Contents

Types

Waxes are organic compounds that characteristically consist of a long alkyl chains. Natural waxes are typically esters of fatty acids and long chain alcohols. Synthetic waxes are long-chain hydrocarbons lacking functional groups.

Plant and animal waxes

Waxes are biosynthesized by many plants or animals. They typically consist of several components, including wax esters, wax acids, wax alcohols, and hydrocarbons. Wax esters are typically derived from a variety of carboxylic acids and a variety of fatty alcohols. The composition depends not only on species, but also on geographic location of the organism. Because they are mixtures, naturally waxes are softer and melt at lower temperatures than the pure components.

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