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Fatty Acids and Derivatives from Coconut Oil

  1. Gregorio C. Gervajio

Published Online: 13 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/0471238961.fattgerv.a01

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology

How to Cite

Gervajio, G. C. 2012. Fatty Acids and Derivatives from Coconut Oil. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. 1–38.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 JUL 2012

Chemistry Terms

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Coconut oil along with palm kernel oil are important feedstocks in the oleochemical industry. Oleochemicals are defined as chemicals made from oils. Coconut oil is well positioned because it has the unique advantage of having fatty acid composition falling within the carbon-chain spectrum desired for the production of oleochemicals. C12–C14 fractions are highly sought after. The caproic to capric (C6–C10) fatty acid fractions are good materials for plasticizer range alcohols and polyol esters. The latter are used in high performance oil for jet engines and a new generation of lubricants. These fractions are also basic to the preparation of mediumchain triglycerides, a highly valued dietary fat. The C12–C18 fractions are primary materials for detergent grade fatty alcohols.

Coconut fatty acids can be converted to other derivatives. Details are given on fatty acids, methyl esters, fatty alcohols, glycerine, monoalkyl phosphates, alkanolamides, surfactants, and tertiary amines. Information includes chemistry, manufacture, processing, and uses. There are numerous uses for these products and are detailed. Examples include surfactants, which are main ingredients in detergents, emulsifiers in food, and flotation agents in mining. Tertiary amines are used to prepare oxides used in cosmetic preparation.


  • coconut oil;
  • oleochemicals;
  • amine oxides;
  • cosmetics;
  • surfactants