Castor oil is a vegetable oil that is derived from the seeds of the castor plant (Ricinus communis). It is a pale yellow liquid that is rich in fatty acids, particularly ricinoleic acid, which makes up about 90% of the oil’s composition. Castor oil also contains small amounts of oleic acid, linoleic acid, and stearic acid.
Ricinoleic acid is a unique fatty acid that gives castor oil its characteristic properties. It is a hydroxy acid, which means that it contains a hydroxyl group (-OH) that is attached to the carbon chain. This hydroxyl group makes ricinoleic acid more polar than other fatty acids, which gives it its distinctive chemical and physical properties.
Castor oil has a wide range of applications due to its unique properties. It is used in the manufacturing of soaps, lubricants, hydraulic and brake fluids, dyes, coatings, and plastics. It is also used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, where it is valued for its emollient, moisturizing, and anti-inflammatory properties.
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CAS #: 8001-79-4
EINECS #: 232-293-8
FEMA #: 2263
Botanical Name: Ricinus communis
Description: Colorless to yellow liquid with characteristic odor.
Origin: Oil obtained from seeds of Ricinus communis.
Appearance: Colorless to yellow.
Physical Status: Liquid.
Flash Point (Closed cup): 93°C.
Refractive Index: 1.475 – 1.485 @ 20°C.
Relative Density: 0.951 – 0.965 @ 20°C.
Optical Rotation: +3.5° to +6°.