Grasas y Aceites, Vol 58, No 4 (2007)

Alternative methods for the wool wax extraction from wool scouring wastes


https://doi.org/10.3989/gya.2007.v58.i4.453

M. López-Mesas
Centre GTS, Unitat de Química Analítica, Departament de Química Universitat. Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

F. Carrillo
INTEXTER-UPC, Spain

M. C. Gutiérrez
INTEXTER-UPC, Spain

M. Crespi
INTEXTER-UPC, Spain

Abstract


Wool fibers have to be properly washed out before being processed into fabrics. This scouring process generates high pollutant wastes in two forms, a liquid phase and a solid phase. Both phases contain a large amount of the grease (wool wax) generated by the animal which may be recovered and purified to obtain lanolin, a highly valued product. To evaluate the amount of grease in such wastes, Soxhlet extraction with organic solvent is the technique more widely used in laboratories worldwide as it provides a high grease recovery although it is a time and solvent consuming technique. The present work compares alternative extraction techniques to the Soxhlet extraction (Microwave, automated Soxhlet and Supercritical Fluids) recovering 100% of the grease, reducing the time of analysis, the solvent consumption and the waste generation.

Keywords


Automated Soxhlet; Microwave; Supercritical fluid extraction; Wool wax

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