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Soy wax production

Soy wax is produced form soybean oil but may contain other non-soy ingredients. Soybean oil is separated from the solid components by solvent extraction or by mechanical pressing. This raw oil will be further refined and bleached. About 60 kg of soybeans are required to produce 10 kg of soybean oil. The soy solids, which remain after oil extraction, can be used as cattle feed. To make the soybean oil more solid (to make wax of it) it is hydrogenated.

Hydrogenation of soybean oil

The exact steps to produce soy wax are well protected and every producer may have his own secrets. The main step in making soy wax is hydrogenation. Hydrogenation is the process whereby the poly- and monounsaturated oils are solidified in order to increase the viscosity. This is done by reaction of hydrogen with the oil at elevated temperature (140-225°C) in the presence of a nickel catalyst.
It is important to stir the mixture to help dissolve the hydrogen and to achieve a uniform distribution of the catalyst with the oil. The hydrogenation process will create saturated fats (the double bonds are converted into single bonds) which are not very healthy forhuman consumption because the contain trans-fats!. However, for making soy candles or soy wax this is not a problem.

Other ingredients of soy wax

Hydrogenation of soybean oil alone will produce a wax with low melting point and not so solid texture. This type 100% soy wax may be suitable for container candles but not for pillar candles. Other ingredients, such as paraffin or stearic acid, need to be added to produce solid wax for votive candles. Many soy candles shops sell their pillar candle wax as "blended wax" and not as "soy wax." Fragrance oils and dyes are often added to soy candles. Scented soy wax, which is very popular, can contain up to 10% fragrance oil, which are readily miscible with wax. Often dyes are incorporated in scented soy wax, for example green dye in apple flavoured wax or purple dye in blueberry flavoured wax.
There are no regulations about the composition of soy wax. If you want to be sure that your soy candles are 100% soy, you will have to ask your supplier!


making soy wax from soy oil

Can soy wax be made simply by adding a nickel catalyst to heated oil without high pressure? Everything I have read about hydrogenation is that high pressure is necessary. If it is possible how much of the nickel catalyst is used with the oil?

Ethan - 31/10/2013

Price for nickel catalyst

Hi my question is same with Ethan's that

"Can soy wax be made simply by adding a nickel catalyst to heated oil without high pressure? Everything I have read about hydrogenation is that high pressure is necessary. If it is possible how much of the nickel catalyst is used with the oil? "

Thank you so much for your kindly reply to me.
Kelly Kim - 18/02/2014

Can soy wax be made simply by adding a nickel catalyst to heated oil without high pressure? If it is possible how much of the nickel catalyst is used with the oil thank you
Monique - 14/05/2014

rapeseed wax

I would like to make rapeseed wax using the hydrogenating process. Is there any small machines that I could like to produce wax, can you help with this issue?
liam williams - 07/11/2014

Are there any other uses for soy wax other then candles?

Anonomous - 09/11/2014

Surfboard Wax?

Has soy wax been tried as a surfboard wax, either in pure form or modified to raise melting point temperature?
ALBERT - 07/12/2014

wax paper from soybean wax

i've heard that it's possible to make wax paper out of soybean wax. how can this be?
can you send some method how to make one?
Thanks. :)
may - 04/01/2015

From one pound of soybean oil how much soywax comes out.
Jay Gill - 01/04/2015


These are all great questions , is there a way to get the answers or any other info on soy wax production process. Thank you
Jeff - 20/11/2015

some answers

@Jay Gill
the densites of soy oil and soy wax are very similar (around 0.9 g/cm³), so your mass and or volume would not change too much.
@Ethan, Kelly Kim, Monique
Don´t forget that you need pure hydrogen for the hydrogenation. This is not trivial, for it is a highly explosive substance. If dosed at high temperatures and very high pressures (200 bar!) you need a safe design of your process and a reliable construction. In my eyes this is clearly an example for "don't do this at home".. :)
Nils - 20/12/2015

soya wax processing

i need to process soya wax in small scale so please i need a help from the concerned group on how to implement it please say me good things even i need partner to work with me here in addis ababa ethiopia thank you!
kebede alemu yilma - 04/03/2016

how can I made soy wax

My dear please tell me simple steps how to convert easily soy oil to soy wax home based process.
tedros haile - 21/03/2016

Soy Wax production

How much soy wax is produced globally in a year?
Niladri Chakraborty - 18/07/2016

own business of candles

I need advice and help I want to start my own business of soy candles.
neliswa - 24/12/2016

soy oil to soy wax

hi, is there any guidline, step to step instructions how to make soy wax from soy oil. thanks a lot..
Rati - 22/01/2017

You can't make soy wax at home

I work as a lab tech at a plant that produces a large percentage of the U.S. soy-based candlewax, reading through these comments there's apparently a lot of interest in doing this at home. This simply isn't a safe process outside of a well designed industrial setting with careful and well trained supervision. You're talking about hot, high pressure hydrogen. You -can not- do this safely at home.
Lee - 24/09/2017

don't do this at home

I forgot to mention in my previous comment, you also need to be able to filter, wash, and deodorize your oil after you hydrogenate it (hopefully without blowing yourself up). Each of these steps requires precisely made equipment maintained properly and used correctly. Even if you manage your production process well, you then need to be able to test the oil for contaminants and degradation issues. All in all you're looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment and years of training just to make small, inefficient batches.
Lee - 24/09/2017

How to make the conversion of soya oil into wax

Hello,Please send the steps involved in the procedure....,how to make the conversion of soya oil to soya wax
Gowtham - 07/12/2017

soy wax

Hi pls advise how soy oil to process as soy wax.tks
sun - 13/05/2018

Owner - River Road Candleworks

I use flake soy wax (100% soy). Can you show or tell the process of taking liquid wax and producing flake wax? I am finding condensation in the upper thirds of my flake wax 50 lb boxes. The wax comes from a climate controlled warehouse of a distributor and is stored in my climate controlled facility until use. The condensation issue has happened with wax from the two largest US manufacturers making 100% soy wax. Both supply their wax to wholesalers in taped 50 or 55 lb boxes which have folded, but not sealed inner plastic bags containing the wax...
mark Turner - 04/06/2018

Soy wax production

We want to learn the process and methodology of converting soy wax from soya oil. Please guide us with a complete project report.
Dr Vijay Lal Bhatnagar - 04/09/2019


Reading all the comments here...Boy you all are being very brave to even want to attempt a small batch processing of soya oil to wax. It's a very dangerous and expensive project to do as DIY. Best of luck.
Zahra - 27/09/2019

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