The Production of Paraffin Wax and Its Main Applications

1. How is paraffin wax made?

Paraffin wax is a hydrocarbon mixture extracted from some distillates of petroleum, shale oil or other bituminous mineral oils. Its main component is solid alkanes, odorless and tasteless, and it is a white or light yellow translucent solid.

Paraffin wax is amorphous but has a distinct crystalline structure. In addition, there is artificial paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is a kind of petroleum processing product, which is a kind of mineral wax and petroleum wax. It is obtained from the lubricating oil fraction obtained by crude oil distillation through solvent refining, solvent dewaxing or wax freezing crystallization, pressing and dewaxing to obtain a wax paste, and then solvent deoiling and hydro refining.

Paraffin wax is divided into food grade (food grade and packaging grade, the former is preferred) and industrial grade, food grade is non-toxic, and industrial grade is not edible.

2. The main application of paraffin wax

Crude paraffin wax is mainly used in the manufacture of matches, fiberboard, canvases, etc. due to its high oil content. After adding polyolefin additives to paraffin wax, its melting point increases and its adhesion and flexibility increases, which is widely used in moisture-proof and water-proof wrapping paper, cardboard, surface coating of certain textiles and candle production.

After dipping the paper into paraffin wax, it can make various kinds of wax paper with good waterproof performance, which can be used in packaging of food and medicine, metal rust prevention and printing industry; after adding paraffin wax into cotton yarn, it can make textiles soft, smooth and elastic; paraffin wax can also make detergent, emulsifier, dispersant, plasticizer, grease, etc.

Fully refined paraffin wax and semi-refined paraffin wax are widely used, mainly for candles, for fruit preservation, for insulation of electrical components, for improving the anti-aging properties of rubber and increasing flexibility. It can also be used for oxidation to produce synthetic fatty acids. In addition, it is also widely used in food packaging materials to prevent moisture, stickiness and oil, etc.

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