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Castor oil

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Castor oil Basic information

Product Name:
Castor oil
  • FEMA 2263
  • Castor oil, oxidized
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  • 8001-79-4
Mol File:

Castor oil Chemical Properties

Melting point:
-10 °C
Boiling point:
313 °C(lit.)
0.955 g/mL at 25 °C
refractive index 
n20/D 1.478(lit.)
Flash point:
>230 °F
storage temp. 
Room Temperature, under inert atmosphere
Miscible with chloroform, diethyl ether, ethanol, glacial acetic acid, and methanol; freely soluble in ethanol (95%) and petroleum ether; practically insoluble in water; practically insoluble in mineral oil unless mixed with another vegetable oil.
Viscous Hygroscopic Liquid
Clear almost colorless or slightly yellow
Specific Gravity
Slight characteristic odor
optical activity
[α]20/D +5°, c = 5 in ethanol
Water Solubility 
<0.1 g/100 mL at 20 ºC
Stable. Combustible. Incompatible with strong oxidizing agents. May be light sensitive.
NIST Chemistry Reference
Castor oil(8001-79-4)
EPA Substance Registry System
Castor oil (8001-79-4)

Safety Information

Safety Statements 
WGK Germany 
Autoignition Temperature
HS Code 
Hazardous Substances Data
8001-79-4(Hazardous Substances Data)



Castor oil Usage And Synthesis

Chemical Properties

pale yellow viscous liquid

Chemical Properties

Dehydrated castor oil is a castor oil from which approximately 5% of the chemically combined water has been removed. Therefore it has drying properties similar to those of Tung oil. Dehydration is carried out by heating the oil in the presence of catalysts such as sulphuric acid, phosphoric acid, clays and metal oxides. Dehydrated castor oil is a yellow oily liquid with characteristic odour.
Standard specifications
commercial grade pale grade special grade
refractive index (20°C) 1,482 - 1,483 1,482 - 1,483 1,482 - 1,483
specific gravity (15°C) 0,982 - 0,933 0,982 - 0,933 0,982 - 0,933
viscosity (25°C) Poise 1,6 - 2,8 1,6 - 2,8 1,6 - 2,8
viscosity Gardner scale G – I G – I G – I
colour max. 8 max. 6 max. 5
acid value mg KOH/g max.6 max. 4
iodine value (Wijs) g I2/100g min. 130 min. 130 min. 130
hydroxyl value mg KOH/g max. 25 max. 20

Chemical Properties

Castor oil is a clear, almost colorless or pale yellow-colored viscous oil. It has a slight odor and a taste that is initially bland but afterwards slightly acrid.

Chemical Properties

Castor oil is obtained by cold expression of kernels, which contain 45 to 50% oil. It has a faint, mild odor and a bland characteristic taste.

Chemical Properties

Castor tree is a common annual ornamental whose native habitat is in the West Indies. The tree grows up to 5 m high. The leaves are large, alternate, peltate, palmately 5- to 12-lobed; the petiolate has conspicuous glands. The seeds are ovoid with a large caruncle; the endosperm is fleshy and oily. The plant thrives in rich, well-drained, sandy or clay loam; it is grown in India and the United States. Castor beans have been cultivated from the earliest times for the oil of the seeds, the only part used. Commercially, the oils and cakes are obtained by cold expression or are steam treated to denature the toxin.

Physical properties

The oil is a pale-yellowish or almost colorless, transparent viscid liquid. It is soluble in alcohol, and is miscible with absolute alcohol, glacial acetic acid, chloroform and ether.


Castor is a perennial found in India and Africa.


Dehydrated castor oil is an unique drying oil, which imparts good flexibility, fine gloss, toughness, adhesion, chemical and water resistance to the dry paint film with non-yellowing properties. DCO is a very suitable and even better substitute for Linseed oil. Paints with DCO are super white and offer superior finish.
Dehydrated castor oil is used as a primary binder for house paints, enamels, caulks, sealants and inks. In “cooked” varnishes it is combined with all the basic resins, rosins, rosin-esters, hydrocarbons and phenolics to produce clear varnishes and vehicles for pigmented coatings. DCO is also used in the manufacturing of lithographic inks, linoleum, putty and phenolic resins.
DCO is used with phenolics to obtain fast drying coatings with maximum alkali resistance as required in sanitary can lining, corrosion resistant coatings, traffic paints, varnishes, ink vehicles, wire enamels, aluminium paint appliance finishes and marine finishes.
DCO is also used to obtain fast kettling rate which gives lighter colour and lower acid varnishes.


Castor Oil is a release and antisticking agent used in hard candy pro- duction. its concentration is not to exceed 500 ppm. it is used in vitamin and mineral tablets, and as a component of protective coatings.




castor oil is a highly emollient carrier oil that penetrates the skin easily, leaving it soft and supple. It also serves to bind the different ingredients of a cosmetic formulation together. Castor oil is high in glycerin esters of ricinoleic acid (an unsaturated fatty acid). It is rarely, if ever, associated with irritation of the skin or allergic reactions. It is obtained through cold-pressing from seeds or beans of the Ricinus communis (castor oil) plant. Impure castor oil may cause irritation, as the seeds contain a toxic substance that is eliminated during processing. Its unpleasant odor makes it difficult to use in cosmetics.


PEG-30 castor oil, -30 castor oil (hydrogenated), -40 castor oil, -40 castor oil (hydrogenated) are emollients, detergents, emulsifiers, and oil-in-water solubilizers recommended for fragrance oils, and for other oils that may be difficult to solubilize. The -40 castor oil version is a powerful solubilizer for solubilizing essential oils and perfumes in oil-in-water creams and lotions. It is similar to Peg-30 castor oil but denser, being a soft paste rather than a liquid. The hydrogenated version is particularly used as a nonionic emulsifier for essential oils and perfumes.

Production Methods

Castor oil is the fixed oil obtained by cold-expression of the seeds of Ricinus communis Linne (Fam. Euphorbiaceae). No other substances are added to the oil.


castor oil: A pale-coloured oil extractedfrom the castor-oil plant. Itcontains a mixture of glyceridesof fatty acids, the predominantacid being ricinoleic acid,C17H32(OH)COOH. It is used as adrying oil in paints and varnishesand medically as a laxative.


Castor oil is a bland oil that is hydrolyzed in the gut to yield ricinoleic acid, the active purging agent. This hydrolysis requires bile, a fact that is sometimes overlooked when castor oil is given as a laxative before radiography in biliary obstruction.The ricinoleic acid acts on the ileum and colon to induce an increased fluid secretion and colonic contraction.

Essential oil composition

The oil is a mixture of triglycerides of which 75 to 90% is ricinoleic acid.* This mixture is hydrolyzed to release ricinoleic acid, which exerts a cathartic effect. The cake remaining after the extraction of the oil is the castor pomace. The phytotoxins ricin and ricinine are found in the seed cake and oil. Ricin is a glycoproptein containing neutral A chain and acidic B chain connected by disulfur bonds.

General Description

Pale-yellow or almost colorless transparent viscous liquid with a faint mild odor and nauseating taste. Density 0.95 g / cm3. A mixture of glycerides, chiefly ricinolein (the glyceride of ricinoleic acid) .

Air & Water Reactions

Insoluble in water.

Reactivity Profile

Castor oil can develop heat spontaneously in the air. [Hawley]. Reacts with acids to liberate heat along with alcohols and acids. Heat is also generated by interaction with caustic solutions. Strong oxidizing acids may cause a vigorous reaction that is sufficiently exothermic to ignite the reaction products. Flammable hydrogen is generated by mixing with alkali metals and hydrides.


Undergoes spontaneous heating.

Health Hazard

If ingested causes severe diarrhea.

Fire Hazard

Castor oil is combustible.

Pharmaceutical Applications

Castor oil is widely used in cosmetics, food products, and pharmaceutical formulations. In pharmaceutical formulations, castor oil is most commonly used in topical creams and ointments at concentrations of 5–12.5%. However, it is also used in oral tablet and capsule formulations, ophthalmic emulsions, and as a solvent in intramuscular injections.
Therapeutically, castor oil has been administered orally for its laxative action, but such use is now obsolete.

Clinical Use

Castor oil is a bland oil that is hydrolyzed in the gut to yield ricinoleic acid, the active purging agent. This hydrolysis requires bile, a fact that is sometimes overlooked when castor oil is given as a laxative before radiography in biliary obstruction.

Safety Profile

An allergen. A human skin and eye irritant. Combustible when exposed to heat. Spontaneous heating may occur. To fight fire, use CO2, dry chemical, fog, mist. See also CASTOR BEAN.


Castor oil is used in cosmetics and foods and orally, parenterally, and topically in pharmaceutical formulations. It is generally regarded as a relatively nontoxic and nonirritant material when used as an excipient.
Castor oil has been used therapeutically as a laxative and oral administration of large quantities may cause nausea, vomiting, colic, and severe purgation. It should not be given when intestinal obstruction is present.
Although widely used in topical preparations, including ophthalmic formulations, castor oil has been associated with some reports of allergic contact dermatitis, mainly to cosmetics such as lipsticks.


Castor oil is stable and does not turn rancid unless subjected to excessive heat. On heating at 3008℃ for several hours, castor oil polymerizes and becomes soluble in mineral oil. When cooled to 08℃, it becomes more viscous.
Castor oil should be stored at a temperature not exceeding 258℃ in well-filled airtight containers protected from light.


Castor oil is incompatible with strong oxidizing agents.

Regulatory Status

GRAS listed. Included in the FDA Inactive Ingredients Database (IM injections; ophthalmic emulsions; oral capsules and tablets; topical creams, emulsions, ointments, and solutions). Included in nonparenteral medicines licensed in the UK. Included in the Canadian List of Acceptable Non-medicinal Ingredients.

Castor oilSupplier

Jiangxi Baolin Natural Spices Co.Ltd. Gold
0796-8180428 13576833965
Jinan Century Tongda Chemical Co., Ltd. Gold
Shanghai Boer Chemical Reagent Co., LTD Gold
Jishui Jianmin Natural Flavor Oil Factory Gold
0796-8186259 19870606785
JinJin Le Chemical Co., Ltd Gold