What is Stearic Acid

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.

  • Synonyms: Double Pressed Stearic Acid, Octadecanoic Acid, Stearic Acid, Stearic Acid Tallow Based
  • INCI: Stearic Acid
  • Chemical formula: C18H36O2
  • CAS #: 57-11-4
  • Hazard: May form Combustible dust concentration in air


Use the links below to view all package sizes for these specific products:

Triple pressed stearic acid FGK
Hydrogenated tallow fatty acid stearic acid

Product specifications

AppearanceWhite solid
SolubilitiesInsoluble in cold water
Boiling point386oC (726.8oF)
Freezing point54 to 55 oC (129.2 to 131oF)
Molecular weight284.48 g/mol
Weight per gallon7.44 lb/gal
ClassAcid, Fatty Acid, Stearic Acid, Stearic Acid Tallow Based


Stearic Acid uses includes in production of Alkyd Resin, Buffing Compounds, Candles, Cosmetics, Emulsifier, Glycerol Esters, Lubricant, Metallic Stearates, Mold Release Agent, Plastics, Polish, Rubber Compounding, Waxes

  • Food and Nutrition: In the food industry, it is used as a food additive, for example as a flavoring agent in certain dairy products to create an artificial flavoring that approximates that of butter. In addition, it is a highly useful binding agent used as a key ingredient in chewing gum, edible waxes, and other candied coatings.
  • Pharmaceutical: In pharmaceutical industry, where stearic acid is used as an additive in tablets to bind solid ingredients together. That way, the tablets do not disintegrate while in storage in bottles. Furthermore, with the addition of stearic acid, tablets only release their active ingredients after they reach the acids found in the human stomach.
  • Personal Care: Personal care industries rely on stearic acid to produce a variety of detergents, soaps, and cosmetics. For example, shampoos, shaving creams, and soaps derive their pearly appearance from esters of stearic acid.
  • Lubricants: Lithium stearate, for instance, is one of the main components of grease
  • Others: As a cost-effective and benign additive, stearic acid has several niche uses. It is used to coat iron and aluminum in the fabrication of fireworks. It is also used in the production of lead-acid batteries. Along with corn syrup or sugar, it is used as a hardening agent in the making of candles. Plus, it is used as a lubricating and release agent in several molding and casting processes, ranging from releasing foam latex from stone molds to lubricating ceramic powders employed in injection molds.

Quick Answers

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

If you are a cosmetics manufacturer, food scientist, or procurement professional, you might be wondering where to buy stearic acid in the United States. For all commercial applications, you are best advised to trust Brenntag North America.

We have a portfolio of over 10,000 products, as well as a global distribution network that spans 74 countries and 530 locations. As a GFSI-certified company that is fully committed to food safety and traceability. We offer top quality products and uninterrupted distribution. As an established leader in the distribution of food grade ingredients, we can reliably meet all of your stearic acid needs. We sell all forms of stearic acid in various grades and levels of purity.

Stearic acid is available in bags, boxes and bulk quantities.

You can download a copy of the SDS for stearic acid from Brenntag Connect.

Download the SDS now.


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