Hydrogenated soybean oil, referred to as soywax by candle makers, is a renewable and biodegradable alternative to paraffin wax in candle manufacturing. Soywax was investigated for its tendency to produce soot as well as potentially harmful organic volatiles (acrolein, formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde) during combustion. Beeswax and paraffin candles were used as references. A considerable amount of soot was produced from the combustion of paraffin candles, but little or none was observed from soywax candles. Compared to paraffin candles, soywax candles burned at a significantly slower rate and required less air. Small amounts of formaldehyde were detected and quantified in the fumes of burning paraffin candles. However, formaldehyde, peaks found in the chromatograms of soy- and beeswax candles were similar to or slightly higher than that of the blank. Since soywax candles exhibited burning properties similar to those of beeswax candles, soywax shows promise in candle applications.
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Rezaei, K., Wang, T. & Johnson, L.A. Combustion characteristics of candles made from hydrogenated soybean oil. J Amer Oil Chem Soc 79, 803–808 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11746-002-0562-y
- hydrogenated oil
- organic volatiles
- soybean oil