Lanolin Refinement

 

The harvested wool wax is a dark, highly viscous and greasy paste. In this crude form, it can be used in several technical applications.

 

However, due to the colour, peculiar odour and sizeable amount of impurities it retains at this stage, the wool wax must be refined further before it can be used in cosmetic products and by the pharmaceutical industry.

 

Ensuring product quality

 

Some of the characteristics of wool wax that make it so valued actually complicate the refining process. For example, the powerful surfactant activity - one of the most highly regarded properties of refined lanolin - makes the purification process difficult.

 

Impurities may be retained in microscopic droplets of oil in reluctantly formed water-in-oil (w/o) emulsions, which are very difficult to break up. To counteract this, the emulsifying power of the wax has to be held to a low and controlled level during the refinement process, without impairing the product quality.

The technical process
Crude wool wax and refined lanolin compared