Isostearic Acid, the Uniquely Versatile Fatty Acid

Isostearic acid differs from other C18 fatty acids of the same category in a number of ways. While other C18 fatty acids are produced by splitting fats or oils, isostearic acid is manufactured as a coproductof a tightly controlled reaction to synthesize dimerized fatty acids. The structural makeup of isostearic acid also has a valuable combination of saturation and branching, when compared to other fatty acids like stearic acid and oleic acid.

This set of features make isostearic acid a versatile building block for high-value applications in synthetic lubricants, metal stamping and forming, coatings, and personal care products. Isostearic acid’s features impart thermal stability, oxidative stability, surface activity, lubricity, low color, and feel in multiple formulations.  Isostearic acid is used as-is in some cases, but is also derivatized to form isostearyl alcohols, amides, and esters to further expand its reach across many industries and applications.

Take a closer look at some of the applications for CENTURY™ isostearic acids produced from tall oil fatty acid (TOFA):

  • Synthetic lubricants – Isostearate ester base oils with good thermal and oxidative stability
  • Lubricant additives – As-is and derivatized to isostearyl amide to provide boundary lubrication and detergency
  • Coatings – Impart flexibility and durability properties to industrial coatings
  • Metalworking – Good surface activity for protective coatings and thermal stability for rolling and stamping
  • Personal care products – As-is and derivatized to isostearyl alcohol to impart feel and texture to creams and lotions.

Kraton Corporation, represented by Univar, manufactures the CENTURY™ isostearic acid product line at its facility in Dover, Ohio, using tall oil fatty acid (TOFA) as the raw material.  Kraton is backward integrated to TOFA, which means supply security for its isostearic acid customer base. Kraton’s TOFA is a pine tree-based fatty acid derived from crude tall oil.  The CENTURY™ isostearic acid product line is therefore 100% plant-based from renewable resources.

When combined with Univar’s supply chain footprint in the United States, CENTURY™ isostearic  acids offer a powerful combination of performance, renewability, steady supply, and short lead times, from a domestic producer. 

Learn more about Univar’s CENTURY™ isostearic acids or contact your Univar representative about how CENTURY™ isostearic  acids may be able to improve the performance in your application.

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