Fatty acid                                                                                                           Introduction, Products, Msds, Project, Turnkey Plants, Market, Company Profiles, Report           

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  • Fatty acid is a carboxylic acid with a long unbranched aliphatic tail (chain), which is either saturated or unsaturated.

  • Fatty acids are merely carboxylic acids with long hydrocarbon chains. The hydrocarbon chain length may vary from 10-30 carbons.

  • Fatty acids are the building blocks that, with proper selection and application of oleochemistry, are converted to higher valued products.

  • Fatty acids act as building blocks of lipids. In general, they contain even numbers of carbon atoms in straight chains ,although the synthases can also produce odd- and branched chain fatty acids to some extent when supplied with the appropriate precursors; other substituent groups, including double bonds, are normally incorporated into the aliphatic chain later by different enzyme systems .

  • The principal raw materials from which the natural fatty acids are derived are tallow, crude tall oil, coconut, palm kernel, and soybean oils.

  • Fatty acids are present in fats and oils as glycerides or esters of glycerol except in sperm oil, where some of the fatty acids are esterified with fatty alcohols, mainly cetyl alcohol. The fatty acids are released by hydrolyzing ester linkage.

  • The natural fatty acids are generally aliphatic compounds with a carboxyl group at the end of a straight carbon chain.

  • Coconut oil is well positioned because it has the unique advantage of having its fatty acid composition falling within the carbon chain spectrum highly desired by the oleochemical industry where the C12 and C14 fatty acid fractions are sought after.

  • Fatty acid methyl ester is the starting material for the production of fatty alcohol and is processed to an active substance in sulfation/ sulfonation plants.

  • Fatty acids are used as starting materials for soaps, medium-chain triglycerides, polyol esters, alkanolamides, and many more.

  • The fatty acids produced from the various fat-splitting processes are purified and separated into fractions or even individual fatty acids by distillation and fractionation.

  • Natural oils, such as palm oil, and rapeseed oil are good raw materials from which fatty acids can be produced. The production of fatty acids will, therefore, be based on imported palm oil which is much cheaper than the locally available rape seed oil.

  • There are two basic types of processes for the splitting (or hydrolysis) of natural oils to produce fatty acids. These are batch and continuous processes.

  • Fatty acids are also important raw materials in the production of higher alcohols and synthetic surfactants.

  • The world production of fatty acids from the hydrolysis of natural fats and oils totaled about 4 million metric tons per year. Fatty acids are ultimately consumed in a wide variety of end-use industries (rubber, plastics, detergents...).

  • The future demand for fatty acid depends mainly on the growth of end user industries. Hence, future demand for the product is contingent upon growth of the national economy, especially the manufacturing sector.

  • Soap and fatty acid manufacturers use vegetable oil or animal fat as a feedstock input. These industries have also produced the majority of the natural glycerin in years past. Therefore, biodiesel production has directly impacted the profitability of these industries by competing for inputs and depressing their glycerin prices. This trend will eventually lead some soap and fatty acid manufacturers to move operations overseas.

  • Fatty acid demand is expected to continue to be strong , fuelled by growth in consumer products such as cosmetics and plastics. Prices of fatty acids in Asia are dependent on feedstock palm kernel, palm stearin and crude palm oil prices and tend to follow the price trends of these raw materials.

  • The rubber industry consumes large quantities of fatty acids. Mostly, saturated fatty acids are used as activators, accelerators and softening agents.

  • The textile industry uses fairly large quantities of fatty acids, largely in the form of derivatives. Because of the diversity of the industry and the numerous forms in which fatty acids are used, it is difficult to estimate volumes.

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