Stearic acid — with the molecular formula C18H36O2, C17H35CO2H, or CH3(CH2)16COOH, and the CAS Number 57-11-4 — is one of the most useful fatty acids with a long carbon chain. Also referred to as octadecanoic acid according to its preferred IUPAC classification, stearic acid gets its name from the Greek word meaning tallow. The ingredient is made predominantly from triglycerides rendered from animal fat. It can be stored at room temperature and is often used in the creation of soaps and candles. Stearic acid is most often produced through the process of saponification, which converts fats and oils into alcohol and soaps by means of adding heat along with a liquid alkali. Saponification is typically carried out on animal fats and vegetable oils.