The process of manufacturing soaps by boiling fatty acids with caustic alkalis or sodium carbonate came into practice with the development of the manufacture of candles by saponifying fats, for it provided a means whereby the oleic acid, which is valueless for candle making, could be worked up. The combination is effected in open vats heated by a steam coil and provided with a stirring appliance; if soda ash be used it is necessary to guard against boiling over.
These enabled him to elucidate the true nature of soap; he was also able to discover the composition of stearin and olein, and to isolate stearic and oleic acids, the names of which were invented by him.
Very good results have been obtained from a preparation named "lipanin," which consists of six parts of oleic acid and ninety-four of pure olein.
By saponification it yields a number of fatty acids - palmitic, myristic, oleic, linolic, linolenic and isolinolenic. Exposed to the air in thin films, linseed oil absorbs oxygen and forms " linoxyn," a resinous semi-elastic, caoutchouclike mass, of uncertain composition.