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Sorbitan Monolaurate

Sorbitan Monolaurate

Organophilic Clay For Oil Drilling Mud

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Solvent Based Organoclay

Water Based Organoclay

Organophilic Clay

Drilling Grade Organophilic Clay

Paint Grade Organoclay

Grease Grade Organoclay

Cosmetics Grade Organoclay

Ink Grade Organoclay

Sorbitan Monolaurate

Sorbitan Monolaurate

What is it?

Sorbitan monolaurate is derived from the fatty acid lauric acid and polyols like sorbitol, polyoxyethylene 20 sorbitan monolaurate stands as a prominent example of ester mixtures. This compound finds approval as a food additive within the European Union, with regulated usage levels ranging from 1000 to 5000 mg/kg, contingent upon the specific food category.

It operates as an emulsifier, stabilizer, and thickener in the realms of food, cosmetics, and medicinal products. Sorbitan monolaurate also plays an essential part in the textile industry as a fiber lubricant and softener, contributing to the manufacturing of comfortable and durable textiles.

Sorbitan Monolaurate

At its core, the additive polyoxyethylene 20 sorbitan monolaurate encompasses sorbitol and its anhydrides, intricately esterified with fatty acids derived from the rich source of coconut oil. This unique blend creates a monoester compound, intertwining the potency of lauric acid and hexitol anhydrides derived from sorbitol. This composition stems from the dehydration process of sorbitol or sorbose, harmoniously combined with fatty acids and brief oligo structures.

Intriguingly, sorbitan monolaurate also finds its niche in the vitamin-C fermentation process, underscoring its significance in pharmaceutical applications. Beyond that, it plays a pivotal role as an excipient and intravenous osmotic diuretic in the pharmaceutical domain, showcasing its versatility beyond conventional roles.

This compound’s non-ionic surfactant nature further cements its prominence in various contexts. When encountered at room temperature, sorbitan monolaurate exhibits a distinct appearance, presenting itself as a yellow to amber viscous liquid or a softly textured paste. This inherent detergent quality, coupled with its composition as a monoester of lauric acid and hexitol anhydrides from the foundation of sorbitol, underscores its wide-ranging utility.

Sorbitan Monolaurate

Names and Identifiers

In terms of specific identification, the CAS Number 1338-39-2 is pivotal for distinguishing sorbitan monolaurate within the vast realm of chemical compounds. This numerical identifier serves as a fingerprint for the compound, allowing researchers, manufacturers, and regulators to precisely identify and reference it.

Synonymous names for sorbitan monolaurate are polyoxyethylene 20 sorbitan monolaurate, polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate, Alkamuls S 20, Glycomul lC, and Sorbitan laurate. In chemical categorization, Span 20 stands as a notable moniker for sorbitan monolaurate. This term is part of the widely recognized “Span” series, which encompasses various sorbitan-derived compounds like Span 60, Span 80 and so much more.

Advantages of Sorbitan Monolaurate

One of the standout advantages of sorbitan monolaurate is its remarkable emulsifying prowess. As an emulsifier, it plays a pivotal role in achieving the harmonious blending of disparate components, be it in food, cosmetics, or pharmaceutical formulations. Its ability to stabilize mixtures and prevent phase separation lends a crucial hand in ensuring the consistent quality and appearance of products. This property proves invaluable, particularly in industries where visual appeal and uniformity are paramount.

Furthermore, the stabilizing nature of sorbitan monolaurate extends its influence to maintain the structural integrity of formulations over time. This ensures that products do not degrade, separate, or lose their efficacy during storage or use. The compound’s stabilizing effect is particularly beneficial in pharmaceutical contexts, where maintaining the potency of active ingredients is of utmost importance.

In addition to its emulsifying and stabilizing attributes, sorbitan monolaurate exhibits excellent lubricating and dispersing properties. This quality proves essential in the manufacturing of products ranging from personal care items to industrial goods. By promoting smoother interactions between particles and components, sorbitan monolaurate contributes to the creation of formulations that are easy to apply, spread, and incorporate into various mediums.

Sorbitan monolaurate’s lipophilic property is yet another advantage that sets it apart. This property underscores its affinity for lipid-based substances, enabling it to seamlessly integrate with oil-based materials. This quality is particularly valuable when formulating products that rely on oils, such as cosmetics and skin-care preparations. By ensuring compatibility with lipids, sorbitan monolaurate enhances the overall stability and performance of such products.


Chemical and Physical Properties

At the core of sorbitan monolaurate’s composition lies its molecular formula, elegantly expressed as C18H34O6. In terms of its physical attributes, sorbitan monolaurate possesses a density of approximately 1.032g/mL at 25°C, a value that unveils its mass per unit volume under specified conditions. The boiling point of sorbitan monolaurate is estimated to be around 401.18°C. The flash point of sorbitan monolaurate is recorded as greater than 230°F.

In terms of its visual attributes, sorbitan monolaurate manifests as a yellow oily liquid. This appearance encapsulates its inherent nature, exuding a vivid hue that resonates with its role as an emulsifying and stabilizing agent. The compound exhibits a clear amber color.

It’s important to note that sorbitan monolaurate is sensitive to moisture, readily absorbing it from its surroundings. This property highlights its hygroscopic nature, which can influence its stability and effectiveness in different applications. Managing this sensitivity becomes crucial when working with the compound, particularly in contexts where moisture can impact its performance or shelf life.


Technical Information of Sorbitan Monolaurate

When subjected to temperatures surpassing its melting point, sorbitan monolaurate demonstrates solubility in an array of solvents, notably methanol, ethanol, toluene, ethyl ether, ethyl acetate, aniline, petroleum ether, and carbon tetrachloride. This remarkable solubility across a spectrum of solvents signifies its compatibility with various mediums, augmenting its efficacy in different applications. As the compound dissolves in these solvents, it paves the way for its participation in processes ranging from pharmaceutical formulations to cosmetic creations.

Conversely, when confronted with lower temperatures, particularly those below its melting point, sorbitan monolaurate exhibits limited solubility in cold water. This behavior underscores its hydrophobic nature, wherein it resists dissolution in aqueous environments. However, this trait does not altogether inhibit its interaction with water. In the presence of elevated temperatures, the compound showcases its dispersibility in hot water. This phenomenon is instrumental in processes where heat can be employed to facilitate the dispersion of sorbitan monolaurate within aqueous solutions.

The nuanced solubility characteristics of sorbitan monolaurate underline its adaptability and responsiveness to environmental cues. As temperature fluctuations occur, the compound navigates a spectrum of solubility interactions, shaping its role in myriad applications. This dynamic behavior is particularly advantageous in industrial contexts where precise solubility control can lead to enhanced product quality and performance.


Use and Manufacturing

In the medical and cosmetic domains, sorbitan monolaurate emerges as a versatile performer, boasting an impressive repertoire of functions. It takes on the mantle of a water-in-oil (W/O) emulsifier, lending its stabilizing touch to formulations that demand consistent and uniform texture. Moreover, the compound’s lubricating qualities contribute to its role as a plasticizer, enhancing the flexibility and manageability of materials across various products. In the realm of desiccants, sorbitan monolaurate absorbs moisture, a trait vital for preserving the integrity of medical and cosmetic items.

One of sorbitan monolaurate’s standout attributes is its duality as both a cleansing agent and an emulsifier. This versatility underscores its value in formulations that require effective cleansing alongside optimal emulsification. As it deftly fulfills both roles, this compound proves its worth in products aimed at promoting cleanliness and enhancing stability.

Within household products, sorbitan monolaurate finds its place in an array of formulations. Its presence is notable in laundry products, where its emulsifying properties contribute to the dispersion of stains and dirt, improving the washing process. Additionally, this compound is incorporated into cleaners, aerosol sprays, and disinfectants, where its multifaceted abilities come to the forefront, ensuring efficient cleaning and stable formulations.

In pest control sprays, sorbitan monolaurate’s role extends to enhancing the suspension of active ingredients, ensuring a homogeneous mixture that optimizes the spray’s efficacy. This functionality showcases its importance beyond traditional uses, highlighting its adaptability in diverse applications. Moreover, this compound contributes to formulations like polishes, coatings, and water softeners, underscoring its contribution to product enhancement and overall performance.


List of Medications Using Sorbitan Monolaurate

Sorbitan monolaurate, a versatile compound renowned for its multifaceted properties, finds a prominent role within the realm of medications. Its inclusion in various pharmaceutical formulations underscores its significance in optimizing drug delivery and performance. Here are few of the medications that uses and utilizes Sorbitan Monolaurate:

  • Pancreaze
  • Ritonavir
  • Topamax
  • Disopyramide Phosphate
  • Excedrin
  • Viekira XR
  • Kaletra
  • Norvir
  • Carbamazepine
  • Dicloxacillin Sodium
  • ConRx Alert


Sorbitan monolaurate emerges as a compound of remarkable versatility and significance within various industries. Its chemical and physical properties, including its molecular structure, density, solubility behavior, and sensitivity to moisture, provide a comprehensive understanding of its behavior and interactions. These properties underline its potential as an emulsifier, stabilizer, lubricant, and dispersing agent across industries such as food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and textiles.

In the medical and cosmetic sectors, sorbitan monolaurate finds widespread use due to its ability to act as a water-in-oil emulsifier, plasticizer, and desiccant. Its applications extend to medications, where it contributes to drug stability, dispersibility, and absorption, enhancing the therapeutic impact of various pharmaceuticals. The compound’s presence in household products like cleaners, disinfectants, and laundry products underscores its adaptability in improving cleaning efficiency and formulation stability.

Furthermore, sorbitan monolaurate’s various names and identifiers reflect its diverse roles in different contexts, including its role as an emulsifier, stabilizer, and cleaning agent. The compound’s solubility behavior, which responds to temperature fluctuations, showcases its adaptability to different solvents and mediums, influencing its suitability for specific applications.


Sorbitan Monolaurate

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