Esparto Wax
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Title: Esparto Wax
Additional Names: Spanish grass wax; halfa wax
Literature References: A wax derived from a tall, tough grass of the Mediterranean region (S. Europe and N. Africa and Libya). The grass is shipped to Scotland, where it is dewaxed and made into fine paper. The wax is a byproduct. Two species of grass are cultivated for their excellent cellulose content: Stipa tenacissima L. (Macrochloa tenacissima (L.) Kunth.), Graminaceae and Lygeum spartum L., Graminaceae. Constit. Esparto wax consists of 15-17% free wax acids, 20-22% alcohols and hydrocarbons, 63-65% esters. The principal hydrocarbon is hentriacontane (C31H64, mp 68°). The acids include cerotic, montanic, myricinic (C30H60O2, mp 68°), lacceric (C32H64O2, mp 70.5°) and hydroxy acids: A. H. Warth, Chemistry and Technology of Waxes (Reinhold, New York, 1947) p 139. Extraction of wax from grass: DD 74703 (1970). TLC identification: H. Schmidt, Am. Cosmet. Perfum. 87, 35 (1972).
Properties: Hard, tough wax. d425 0.9887. mp 78.1°. Solidifies at 68.8°. Acid value 23.9. Saponification value 69.8. Soly in ethanol (25°): 0.244 g/100 ml; in ethylene chloride (37°): 1.48 g/100 ml.
Melting point: mp 78.1°
Density: d425 0.9887
Use: Substitute or extender for carnauba wax, q.v. Blends well with other waxes. Emulsifies easily and imparts smoothness to polishes. Preferred in the manufacture of carbon papers.

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