Japan wax (木蝋 ''Mokurō''), also known as sumac wax, sumach wax, vegetable wax, China green tallow, and Japan tallow, is a pale-yellow, waxy, water-insoluble solid with a gummy feel, obtained from the berries of certain
Sumac ( or ), also spelled sumach, is any of about 35 species of flowering plants in the genus ''Rhus'' and related genera in the cashew family (Anacardiaceae). Sumacs grow in subtropical and temperate regions throughout the world, including E ...
s native to
Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the n ...
China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population exceeding 1.4 billion, slightly ahead of India. China spans the equivalent of five time zones ...
, such as ''
''Toxicodendron vernicifluum'' (formerly ''Rhus verniciflua''), also known by the common name Chinese lacquer tree, is an Asian tree species of genus '' Toxicodendron'' native to China and the Indian subcontinent, and cultivated in regions of ...
'' (lacquer tree) and '' Toxicodendron succedaneum
'' (Japanese wax tree).
[Claude Leray "Waxes" in Kirk-othmer encyclopedia of chemical technology 2006, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. ]
Japan wax is a byproduct of
Lacquer is a type of hard and usually shiny coating or finish applied to materials such as wood or metal. It is most often made from resin extracted from trees and waxes and has been in use since antiquity.
Asian lacquerware, which may be c ...
manufacture. The fruits of the ''Toxicodendron'' trees are harvested, steamed, and pressed for the waxy substance which hardens when cool.
It is not a true
Waxes are a diverse class of organic compounds that are lipophilic, malleable solids near ambient temperatures. They include higher alkanes and lipids, typically with melting points above about 40 °C (104 °F), melting to give lo ...
In nutrition, biology, and chemistry, fat usually means any ester of fatty acids, or a mixture of such compounds, most commonly those that occur in living beings or in food.
The term often refers specifically to triglycerides (tripl ...
that contains 95%
Tripalmitin is a triglyceride derived from the fatty acid palmitic acid
Palmitic acid (hexadecanoic acid in IUPAC nomenclature) is a fatty acid with a 16-carbon chain. It is the most common saturated fatty acid found in animals, plants and mic ...
[ Japan wax is sold in flat squares or disks and has a rancid odor. It is extracted by expression and heat, or by the action of ] solvent
A solvent (s) (from the Latin '' solvō'', "loosen, untie, solve") is a substance that dissolves a solute, resulting in a solution. A solvent is usually a liquid but can also be a solid, a gas, or a supercritical fluid. Water is a solvent for ...s.
Japan wax is used in
A candle is an ignitable wick embedded in wax, or another flammable solid substance such as tallow, that provides light, and in some cases, a fragrance. A candle can also provide heat or a method of keeping time.
A person who makes candle ...s, furniture polishes, floor waxes, wax matches, soap
Soap is a salt of a fatty acid used in a variety of cleansing and lubricating products. In a domestic setting, soaps are surfactants usually used for washing, bathing, and other types of housekeeping. In industrial settings, soaps are used ...s, food packaging, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics
Cosmetics are constituted mixtures of chemical compounds derived from either natural sources, or synthetically created ones. Cosmetics have various purposes. Those designed for personal care and skin care can be used to cleanse or prote ..., pastel
A pastel () is an art medium in a variety of forms including a stick, a square a pebble or a pan of color; though other forms are possible; they consist of powdered pigment and a binder. The pigments used in pastels are similar to those us ...s, crayon
A crayon (or wax pastel) is a stick of pigmented wax used for writing or drawing. Wax crayons differ from pastels, in which the pigment is mixed with a dry binder such as gum arabic, and from oil pastels, where the binder is a mixture of wa ...s, buffing compounds, metal lubricant
A lubricant (sometimes shortened to lube) is a substance that helps to reduce friction between surfaces in mutual contact, which ultimately reduces the heat generated when the surfaces move. It may also have the function of transmitting forces, ...s, adhesive
Adhesive, also known as glue, cement, mucilage, or paste, is any non-metallic substance applied to one or both surfaces of two separate items that binds them together and resists their separation.
The use of adhesives offers certain advant ...s, thermoplastic resins, and as a substitute for beeswax
Beeswax (''cera alba'') is a natural wax produced by honey bees of the genus ''Apis''. The wax is formed into scales by eight wax-producing glands in the abdominal segments of worker bees, which discard it in or at the hive. The hive work .... Because it undergoes rancidification
Rancidification is the process of complete or incomplete autoxidation or hydrolysis of fats and oils when exposed to air, light, moisture, or bacterial action, producing short-chain aldehydes, ketones and free fatty acids.
When these processes ..., it is not often used in foods.
*Melting point =
or . [
*Specific gravity ≈ 0.975]
*Soluble in benzene
Benzene is an organic chemical compound with the molecular formula C6H6. The benzene molecule is composed of six carbon atoms joined in a planar ring with one hydrogen atom attached to each. Because it contains only carbon and hydrogen atoms ..., ether
In organic chemistry, ethers are a class of compounds that contain an ether group—an oxygen atom connected to two alkyl or aryl groups. They have the general formula , where R and R′ represent the alkyl or aryl groups. Ethers can again ..., naphtha
Naphtha ( or ) is a flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture.
Mixtures labelled ''naphtha'' have been produced from natural gas condensates, petroleum distillates, and the distillation of coal tar and peat. In different industries and regions ... and alkalis
In chemistry, an alkali (; from ar, القلوي, al-qaly, lit=ashes of the saltwort) is a basic, ionic salt of an alkali metal or an alkaline earth metal. An alkali can also be defined as a base that dissolves in water. A solution of a s ...; insoluble in water
Water (chemical formula ) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known living organisms (in which it acts a ... and cold ethanol
Ethanol (abbr. EtOH; also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol, or simply alcohol) is an organic compound. It is an alcohol with the chemical formula . Its formula can be also written as or (an ethyl group linked to a h ....
* Iodine value
In chemistry, the iodine value (IV; also iodine adsorption value, iodine number or iodine index) is the mass of iodine in grams that is consumed by 100 grams of a chemical substance. Iodine numbers are often used to determine the degree of u ... = 4.5–12.6
* Acid value = 6–209
* Saponification value
Saponification value or saponification number (SV or SN) represents the number of milligrams of potassium hydroxide (KOH) or sodium hydroxide (NaOH) required to saponify one gram of fat under the conditions specified. It is a measure of the ... = 220
Non-timber forest products