stearic acid manufacture is a process for producing fatty acids. The process involves hydrolysis of fats and oils to produce a mixture of fatty acids and glycerine. Fatty acids are then separated by purification and distillation.
Various grades of stearic acid are manufactured for a variety of uses and applications, such as rubber, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food packaging, soap, detergents, surfactants, coatings, lubricants, and textiles. Depending on the end application, stearic acid is available in bead, flake, powder or liquid form.
Grades of stearic acid vary in molecular weight, solubility, melting point, color, and odor. These properties are controlled by a number of physical and chemical specifications, which are used to ensure that the acid is of consistent quality.
The market for stearic acid was valued at USD 7.1 billion in 2014, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% over the forecast period. High demand for stearic acid in personal care products such as shampoos and shaving creams is anticipated to drive market growth.
In addition, rising applications in soaps and detergents as a surfactant is projected to foster product penetration in the industry. Growing application scope in niche segments such as candle manufacturing, metal processing and dietary supplements is also expected to bolster industry growth.