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**Chemistry of Waxes:**
– Waxes are organic compounds with long aliphatic alkyl chains.
– Natural waxes may contain unsaturated bonds and various functional groups.
– Synthetic waxes consist of long-chain aliphatic hydrocarbons.
– Waxes are synthesized by plants and animals.
Plant waxes contain mixtures of unesterified hydrocarbons.

**Animal Waxes:**
– Beeswax, spermaceti, and lanolin are well-known animal waxes.
– Animal waxes are used for various applications.
– Geographic location affects the composition of animal waxes.

**Plant Waxes:**
– Plants secrete waxes to control evaporation and hydration.
Carnauba wax, jojoba oil, and candelilla wax are examples of plant waxes.
– Various plant waxes have specialized uses.
Plant waxes contain a variety of aliphatic hydrocarbons.

**Modified Plant and Animal Waxes:**
– Chemical modifications can enhance wax properties.
– Green chemistry approaches are used for wax modifications.
– Enzymatic reactions can produce waxes from vegetable oils.
– Selective modifications improve wax properties.
– Modified waxes offer advantages over unmodified waxes.

**Petroleum-Derived Waxes:**
– Paraffin waxes are hydrocarbons refined from petroleum.
– Millions of tons of paraffin waxes are produced annually.
– Paraffin waxes have various industrial applications.
– Montan wax is a fossilized wax extracted from coal.
– Polyethylene waxes are produced using different methods.

Wax (Wikipedia)

Waxes are a diverse class of organic compounds that are lipophilic, malleable solids near ambient temperatures. They include higher alkanes and lipids, typically with melting points above about 40 °C (104 °F), melting to give low viscosity liquids. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in nonpolar organic solvents such as hexane, benzene and chloroform. Natural waxes of different types are produced by plants and animals and occur in petroleum.

Cetyl palmitate, a typical wax ester.
Commercial honeycomb foundation, made by pressing beeswax between patterned metal rollers.
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