Montan wax

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A hard, mineral wax obtained from Lignite and Peat. Montan wax was first produced in northern Bohemia (Czech Republic). The brown coals of Oklahoma and Texas also contain as much as 13% montan wax. Though the crude product is dark brown, the wax, after purification with solvent extractions, is white. It contains esters of montanic acid (C27H55COOH). Montan wax has been used as a substitute for carnauba and Beeswax. It is used in shoe and furniture polishes, phonograph records, roofing paints, waterproof coatings, adhesive pastes, paper sizing, candles, carbon papers, and suncrack prevention in rubbers.

Synonyms and Related Terms

cera montana (Esp.); cera montana (It); lignite wax; peat wax


  • Combustible.

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Soluble in carbon tetrachloride, benzene and chloroform. Insoluble in water.
  • Saponification number = 74-127
  • Acid number = 30-70
  • Iodine number = 16-20
  • Melting Point = 76-130
  • Density = 1.010-1.030


Properties of Natural Waxes

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 568
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 6338
  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • John S. Mills, Raymond White, The Organic Chemistry of Museum Objects, Butterworth Heineman, London, 2nd ed., 1994
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: (Refined) melting point=77-84C, density=1.010-1.030, iodine value=10-14, acid value=24-43, saponification value=72-103
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997