Dictionary > Stearic acid

Stearic acid

noun, plural: stearic acids
A eighteen-carbon fatty acid, with the formula: C18H36O2
A fatty acid is a long chain of hydrocarbon. If there are no unsaturated linkages but only single bonds between carbon atoms them the fatty acid is a saturated type. This is in contrast to an unsaturated fatty acid that contains at least one double carbon-carbon bond.
The stearic acid is a saturated fatty acid. It has 18 carbon molecules in a chain connected by single bonds. It is an organic, monobasic acid from hydrocarbons by the equivalent of oxidation of a methyl group to an alcohol, aldehyde, and then acid. It is colorless and odorless. Stearates are salts and esters of stearic acid. Stearin is the triglyceride derived from three stearic acids. The stearic acid is the most common form of fatty acid in animal lipids. It is synthesized through the fatty acid synthesis utilizing carbohydrates and acetyl-CoA.
The stearic acid is used for the production of detergents, soaps, candles, and cosmetics (e.g. shampoo and shaving cream). It is also used in medicine, e.g. as capsule lubricant and as softening and release agent.
IUPAC name:

  • octadecanoic acid

Chemical formula:
See also:

You will also like...

Gene Pool and Speciation
The Gene Pool and Population Genetics

According to Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection, preferable genes are favored by nature in the gene pool, and ..

Endemic Flora of New Zealand
New Zealand’s Unique Flora

If New Zealand has lots of unique animals, it's also got a whole lot of unique plants. Find out more about some of them,..

Population Growth and Survivorship
Population Growth and Survivorship

This lesson looks at population attributes, regulation, and growth. It also covers population genetics, particularly gen..

Freshwater aquatic plankton
Freshwater Communities & Plankton

Planktons are microscopic organisms that live suspended in aquatic habitats. There are two groups: the phytoplanktons an..

The Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs represented a major turn in the evolutionary development of organisms on Earth. The first dinosaurs were presu..

Chromosomes X and Y and Sex Determination
Chromosomes X and Y and Sex Determination

This tutorial looks at sex determination via the sex chromosomes, X and Y. Read it to get more info on X and Y chromosom..