The cetyl ester is spermaceti, and the myricyl ester is largely present in beeswax.
Artificially it may be prepared by heating cetyl alcohol with soda lime to 270° or by fusing oleic acid with potassium hydrate.
Esters formed by the union of three molecules of fatty acids with one molecule of the trihydric alcohol glycerin, whereas the waxes consist of esters formed by the union of one molecule of fatty acid with one molecule of a monohydric alcohol, such as cetyl alcohol, cholesterol, &c. Only in the case of the wax coccerin two molecules of fatty acids are combined with one molecule of a dihydric (bivalent) alcohol.
In the following two tables the "acids" and "alcohols" hitherto identified in waxes are enumerated in a classified order: - Alcohols Spermaceti consists practically of cetyl palmitate, Chinese wax of ceryl palmitate.
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