Industrial Use

Over the centuries, people have discovered that the valuable qualities of wool wax can also be used for a variety of technical applications, such as lubricants or protective preparations for ferrous metals.

Functions & Applications

Indeed, the number of potential uses for lanolin has increased dramatically as a result of its use in important industrial processes and a wide range of technical applications.

Lanolin is an important component of a broad range of industrial applications, and is a powerful rust preventative with excellent protective properties for ferrous metals. People have valued this quality for centuries; in the Middle Ages, knights’ armour and tools were coated with a thin waxy film of lanolin, which preserved them through to modern times.

Many uses in industry

Ecologically friendly protection

Scientists at leading laboratories have analysed and confirmed this protective function. Their conclusion is that as a result of the polar nature of its components, lanolin has a tenacious adhesive tendency to metal surfaces, which is much higher than for hydrocarbons.

It is biodegradable and non-toxic, making it an ecologically friendly substance. Lanolin is also compatible with numerous additives that modify the consistency and characteristics of the resulting protective films (e.g. hard, soft, water soluble or insoluble).

Although chemically classified as a wax, lanolin has all the physical properties of a grease. As a lubricant, technical-grade lanolin can be used as a cost-efficient anti-friction agent for many technical processes, especially those that require high biocompatibility.

This  biocompatible, biodegradable and non-toxic nature of lanolin makes it an attractive alternative to mineral oils.

How does it work?

Lanolin is simply added to a metal surface as a grease, although it’s better to apply it as a hydrocarbon solution or as a liquid lanolin oil derivative.

Strongly corroded seawater tanks and ships can be rust-protected with low viscous lanolin products. In the floor method, the liquids are dispersed on the weathered underground. The oil then creeps into the cavities of the rust structure, where it displaces the water by attaching to the metallic surface, forming a thick and durable anti-corrosive layer.

The high penetration potential of lanolin-based anti-corrosive preparations makes them attractive for rust treatment and prevention on automobile parts, especially for cherished vehicles . Due to high capillary activity, the low-viscous substances can penetrate into the splices and even micro-fissures that are especially vulnerable to corrosion due to electrochemical processes.

Special anti-corrosive applications and functions

As a dewatering rust preventative for saltwater-resistant protection of ships and seawater tanks:

  • For protection and conservation of ferrous vehicle and vintage car parts such as:
    • crevices of front and car boot lid, wheel house, mudguard, underbody parts and so on;
    • engineering parts like cylinder pistons during storage;
    • chromed parts for better resistance against road salt, seawater and acid rain;
    • for regeneration of bitumen underbody protection.
  • For conserving items such as military hardware, conduits, pipelines, machinery, roofing tiles, sheets, plates, tools, steel wire ropes, surfaces of wood and fabric, and so on.

Lubricant applications​

Although chemically classified as a wax, lanolin also has all of the physical properties of grease. Due to its high tackiness to metals and superb lubricating qualities, crude wool grease and technical grade lanolin can be used as cost-efficient anti-friction agents for many technical processes.

Multi-purpose material

Combined with its anti-corrosive potential, lanolin is also a valuable lubricating and conserving material for all types of engineering parts. As in all other lanolin applications, its compatibility with a range of additives makes a variety of preparations with special properties possible.

Special applications

  • Lubrication grease for engineering parts.
  • Metal cutting oil.
  • Lubricant for metal processing, e.g. rolling, grinding, pressing and so on.

Leather and textiles

To protect leather from natural degradation processes, it must be treated by chemical tanning agents to create a durable product from an organic source.

This aggressive process leaches out most of the animal lipids that leather needs to stay soft and supple. The moisture and natural fat balance must be restored after tanning to make the leather strong and resilient.

As a natural skin moisturiser and protectant, nature designed wool wax to soften and protect the skin. As a result, lanolin is a widely used emollient in the leather industry.

It is also a key ingredient in leather treatment and cleaning products such as saddle soaps.

Lanolin is used in products for:

  • treating and processing tanned leather
  • weathered leather, as a nourishing oil and emollient
  • shoe polishes, as an emulsifier and gloss enhancer
  • textiles, as an emollient that gives a soft finish.

Other industrial uses

  • In paints, spraying varnishes and inks:
    • as a dispersing agent for homogeneous covering properties
    • preventing aggregation and precipitation of pigments to improve handling of paints
    • as an agent to decrease the drying time
    • as a penetration inhibitor for inks
    • to give and control fluidity.
  • In polishing waxes and abrasives.
  • As a paper conditioner:
    • enhancing paper softness
    • imparting steam resistance for wrappings of surgical instruments that have to be sterilised.
  • In industrial hand-cleaner creams and lotions as a superfatting agent to minimise the dehydrating effect of detergents.
  • In oil-binding agents, due to the high oil-binding capacity of lanolic acid metal soaps.
  • In concrete waterproofing products.
  • In numerous other applications, such as aircraft glues, conveyor belt wax, special greases, jointing pastes, vulcanising pastes and so on.

Product List

Product Name

Characteristics

Data Sheet

Wool Grease Neutral is highly purified centrifuge Wool grease also commonly referred to as crude wool grease, (crude) wool wax, (crude) wool fat, lanolin industrial. 

LANIS TECH FA 15 is generated as a by-product in the refining process of wool grease, in order to produce pharmaceutical and cosmetic grade lanolin anhydrous or lanolin alcohol. 

LANIS TECH FA 25 is a mixture of lanolin fatty acids, lanolin alcohols and esters, obtained in the processing of wool grease.

LANIS TECH CRD is a mixture of lanolin fatty acids and esters, produced through alkaline fission of wool grease and subsequent acidification followed by distillation.

LANIS TECH CR is a mixture of lanolin fatty acids and esters, produced trough alkaline fission of wool grease and subsequent acidification.

LANIS TECH WD is a mixture of high-boiling lanolin fatty acids and esters, obtained in the processing of wool grease.

LANIS TECH Customised

Production according to individual specifications and requirements.

LANIS TECH LP is a high-cholesterol mixture of high-boiling wool alcohols. It is obtained in the distillation process of wool alcohols.

LANIS TECH ALD is a mixture of sterols and alcohols, obtained as a by-product in lanolin alcohol production.

Wool Grease Neutral

Wool grease is secreted by the sebaceous glands in sheep skin, making it a naturally occurring substance from a renewable source. Its prime function is to coat and soften the wool fibres, protecting both skin and fleece against exposure to the elements. Wool grease is referred to as neutral wool grease, centrifuged wool grease, crude wool grease, (crude) wool wax, (crude) wool fat, lanolin industrial. While chemically a wax, the term “wool grease” is most commonly usedIt’s recovered from the liquids resulting from scouring sheep wool. Firstly, heavy impurities such as sand and dirt are removed by gravity settlement. The wax is then obtained using either centrifugal separation or solvent extraction. The crude product is a dark, highly viscous paste with a distinct sheep-like odour.

Product specifications

Wool wax is a complex mixture of esters, di-esters and hydroxy esters formed by condensation of high molecular weight lanolin alcohols with lanolin fatty acids. After saponifying lanolin, scientists have identified:

  • aliphatic and branched alcohols (C12-36, approx. 7% di-hydroxy alcohols)
  • alcohols with steroidal structure (cholesterol, lanosterol, agnosterol and their hydrated derivatives)
  • about 160 fatty acids (C7-41, ca. 32% bi-functional hydroxy acids)

Approximately 1% to 8% of the fatty acids and 6% to 12% of the alcohols are present in their free, unbound form. Up to 5% of the weight is due to emulsified water.

Wool wax can also contain traces of:

  • water and lipid soluble salts
  • detergent and pesticide residues
  • polyaromatic hydrocarbons
  • particulate insoluble matters.

Applications

Wool Grease Neutral is refined to produce lanolin and a variety of lanolin derivatives, such as lanolin alcohol, lanolin oil, lanolin acid or ethoxylated lanolin. All of these substances share exceptionally good emulsifying and emollient properties. They are widely used as moisturising ingredients in cosmetic and medical formulations, particularly skin and hair care products. Wool Grease Neutral also has a range of technical applications, such as:

  • anti-corrosive coatings
  • lubricant additives
  • surgical and industrial adhesive tapes
  • metal cutting oils
  • leather treatment products.

In addition, this ecologically friendly and completely biodegradable substance can be used as a mineral oil substitute.

Tailored products

Wool scouring and treatment is performed in factories around the world, and the quality of the resulting crude wool wax is affected by plant conditions and local regulations. However, wool wax grades according to standardised specifications are available.

Wool Grease Neutral

The exact chemical composition of crude wool wax, including the amount of residual impurities, can vary noticeably depending on the quality and origin of the sheep’s wool, as well as the isolation procedure. We offer a wide range of product qualities that can be customised to your particular needs.

Chemical Characteristics Wool Grease Neutral

Colour Brownish to Brownish-Greenish
Acid value (mg KOH/g) <= 8.0
Saponification value (mg KOH/g) 80 – 120
Drop point (°C) 35 – 45
Peroxide value (meq/kg)
Water absorption (%)
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (ppm)
Individual Organochlorine Pesticides (ppm)
Individual other pesticides (ppm)
Total pesticides content (ppm)

Contact our Expert

Marco Heins

Marco Heins
Product Manager 

Lanolin Fatty Acid

Lanolin acid is the by-product of fatty acid removal from lanolin or lanolin alcohol. For a high quality product, the acidic fraction is then separated from the lanolin alcohols using molecular distillation.

Product specifications

Regardless of the isolation procedure, lanolin acid is a complex mixture of long-chain branched and unbranched fatty acids, of which about 40% is hydroxylated. So far, 138 saturated and 32 unsaturated lanolin acids have been identified. Lanolin acid can be obtained in two quality grades, with acid values of 50 or 100.

Product features and applications

Molecularly distilled lanolin acid keeps all the natural qualities present in the crude acid, but with a consistently low odour profile. The solid wax meets all requirements to substitute or supplement fatty acids in cosmetics and dermatological products. Lanolin acid also has a general antimicrobial effect on the human skin. As a result, it can be used as an active ingredient in personal care and products treating cutaneous infections such as acne. Metal soaps of wool wax acids have excellent oil binding properties, making them functional ingredients of lubrication soaps. Other applications include:

  • solid and liquid polishes
  • polish emulsions
  • anti-corrosives
  • textile additives
  • cosmetic bases.

LANIS TECH FA 15

LANIS TECH FA 15 is generated as a by-product in the refining process of wool grease, in order to produce pharmaceutical and cosmetic grade lanolin anhydrous or lanolin alcohol.

Chemical Characteristics LANIS Tech FA 15

ColourDark brown
Acid value (mg KOH/g)<=30
Saponification value (mg KOH/g)85 – 135
Drop point (°C)>=36
Peroxide value (meq/kg) 
Water absorption (%)<=2.5
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (ppm) 
Individual Organochlorine Pesticides (ppm) 
Individual other pesticides (ppm) 
Total pesticides content (ppm) 

Contact our Expert

Marco Heins

Marco Heins
Product Manager 

LANIS TECH FA 25

LANIS TECH FA 25 is a mixture of lanolin fatty acids, lanolin alcohols and esters, obtained in the processing of wool grease.

Chemical Characteristics LANIS Tech FA 25

ColourDark brown
Acid value (mg KOH/g)<= 50
Saponification value (mg KOH/g)90 – 150
Drop point (°C)>=36
Peroxide value (meq/kg) 
Water absorption (%) 
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (ppm) 
Individual Organochlorine Pesticides (ppm) 
Individual other pesticides (ppm) 
Total pesticides content (ppm) 

Contact our Expert

Marco Heins

Marco Heins
Product Manager 

LANIS TECH CR - Lanolin Tech CR

LANIS TECH CR – Lanolin Tech CR is a mixture of lanolin fatty acids and esters, produced trough alkaline fission of wool grease and subsequent acidification

Chemical Characteristics LANIS TECH CR

ColourMedium-Dark Brownish
Acid value (mg KOH/g)90 – 140    
Saponification value (mg KOH/g)120 – 170
Drop point (°C)45 – 65
Peroxide value (meq/kg) 
Water absorption (%) 
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (ppm) 
Individual Organochlorine Pesticides (ppm) 
Individual other pesticides (ppm) 
Total pesticides content (ppm) 

Contact our Expert

Marco Heins

Marco Heins
Product Manager 

LANIS TECH CRD - Lanolin Tech CRD

LANIS TECH CRD – Lanolin Tech CRD is derived from LANIS TECH CR using molecular distillation to obtain a light colour, low odour product.  They have excellent oil binding properties and are used for lubrication soaps. Other applications are solid and liquid polishes, polish emulsions, anti-corrosives, additives and leather chemicals. LANIS TECH CRD finds also use in cosmetics.

Chemical Characteristics LANIS TECH CRD

ColourMedium-Ivory
Acid value (mg KOH/g)135 – 165
Saponification value (mg KOH/g)155 – 190
Drop point (°C)45 – 60
Peroxide value (meq/kg) 
Water absorption (%) 
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (ppm) 
Individual Organochlorine Pesticides (ppm) 
Individual other pesticides (ppm) 
Total pesticides content (ppm) 

Contact our Expert

Marco Heins

Marco Heins
Product Manager 

LANIS TECH WD - Lanolin Tech WD

LANIS TECH WD – Lanolin Tech WD is a mixture of high-boiling wool wax acids, obtained as a by-product in lanolin alcohol production.

Chemical Characteristics LANIS TECH WD

ColourDark brown
Acid value (mg KOH/g)4565
Saponification value (mg KOH/g)84 – 125
Drop point (°C)58 – 72
Peroxide value (meq/kg) 
Water absorption (%) 
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (ppm) 
Individual Organochlorine Pesticides (ppm) 
Individual other pesticides (ppm) 
Total pesticides content (ppm) 

Contact our Expert

Marco Heins

Marco Heins
Product Manager 

Lanolin Alcohol

Lanolin alcohols are the most powerful surface-active natural components of wool wax products. They make up around 50% of the total weight of lanolin anhydrous, in which they are chemically bound in ester compounds. The alcohol fraction is obtained by using an alkaline treatment on the lanolin and then removing the released soaps. It is refined further via a multi-stage molecular distillation process, which improves colour and odour. This produces a purified, semi-crystalline and practically colourless wax.

Product specifications

In addition to the following products, the refining process for lanolin alcohol can be customised to meet the requirements of different pharmacopoeias around the world. Lanolin alcohol is the primary lanolin derivative. It consists of a refined mixture of high molecular weight (MW) alcohols; the mean MW is 370. The main fraction (75%) is composed of sterols and triterpene alcohols, of which cholesterol is the largest individual component (36%), followed by lanosterol, agnosterol and their dihydric derivatives.

These alcohols are closely related to the physiological lipids of the human skin’s horny layer (stratum corneum). This results in the excellent epidermal compatibility of lanolin alcohols in skin-care products. The alcohol mixture also contains branched and unbranched aliphatic alcohols in both monohydric and dihydric forms.

To avoid surface autoxidation, traces of butylhydroxytoluene (BHT) are added at the end of the refinement process.

Product features

Free lanolin alcohols have a more potent surface activity than the esters in which they are usually bound, as a result of their higher polarity. They are why anhydrous lanolin has such a high water absorption capacity — more than 200% by weight. Free and refined lanolin alcohol is an even more efficient absorbent, capable of taking up a larger multiple of its weight in water (WW). This makes it one of the most powerful non-ionic water-in-oil (w/o) emulsifying agents available.

LANIS TECH LP - Lanolin Tech LP

LANIS TECH LP – Lanolin Tech LP is a solid state material, obtained as a by-product in lanolin alcohol production.

Chemical Characteristics LANIS TECH LP

ColourDark Brown
Acid value (mg KOH/g)<=0.3
Saponification value (mg KOH/g)<=7
Drop point (°C)Min. 52
Peroxide value (meq/kg) 
Water absorption (%) 
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (ppm) 
Individual Organochlorine Pesticides (ppm) 
Individual other pesticides (ppm) 
Total pesticides content (ppm) 

Contact our Expert

Marco Heins

Marco Heins
Product Manager 

LANIS TECH ALD

LANIS TECH ALD is a mixture of sterols and alcohols, obtained as a by-product in lanolin alcohol production.

Chemical Characteristics LANIS TECH ALD

ColourMedium Brown
Acid value (mg KOH/g)<=6
Saponification value (mg KOH/g)15 – 35
Drop point (°C) 
Peroxide value (meq/kg) 
Water absorption (%) 
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (ppm) 
Individual Organochlorine Pesticides (ppm) 
Individual other pesticides (ppm) 
Total pesticides content (ppm) 

Contact our Expert

Marco Heins

Marco Heins
Product Manager 

Request Data Sheet


We look forward to your call

Chris Kommerowski Sales Director

Marco Heins Product Manager

Kruna Ramljak Product Manager

Christina Wegener Logistics and Sales Manager

Juliane Bender Logistics Manager

Want to learn more?