Turkey red oil

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A viscous liquid used as an anionic surfactant. Turkey red oil is prepared by treating Castor oil with Sulfuric acid followed by washing and neutralization. Because cotton fibers pretreated with Turkey red oil give a brighter color, the oil was used as a dyeing assistant in the 19th century and at one point was called alizarin assistant. Turkey red oil is also used in soaps and in the manufacture of leathers and paper.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Turkey-red oil; sulfated castor oil; sulfonated castor oil; red oil; alizarin oil; alizarin assistant


  • Combustible.
  • DC Fine Chemicals: SDS

Other Properties

  • Miscible with water.
  • Iodine no. = 82.1
  • Acid no. = 174.3
  • Saponification no. = 189.3
  • Density = 0.95 g/ml

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 160
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 9953