Hydrogenated vegetable oils as candle wax

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Abstract

Partially hydrogenated soybean oil, referred to as soywax, is gaining attention as a renewable and biodegradable alternative to paraffin wax for use in candles. However, current soywax candles suffer from several problems, especially poor melting and solidification properties. Fully hydrogenated soybean oil exhibits improved melting properties but owing to its fragile texture, it is not yet acceptable in most candle applications. In the present work, KLXTM (a wax composed of fractionated hydrogenated soy and cottonseed oils) was used as a base material for candles, and the effects of additives such as hydrogenated palm oil (HPO), FFA, and paraffin on the textural and combustion properties were evaluated. Melting and solidification profiles of KLX were better than those of fully hydrogenated soy oil. Adding FFA improved the solidification properties of KLX candles. Adding paraffin improved the compressibility of the wax, while HPO addition decreased hardness and compressibility. Changing the candle diameter and/or wick size along with changing the wax composition resulted in candles with desirable quality attributes.