Two aluminum soaps have been prepared as hydrocarbon gelling agents. The aluminum soap of 2-ethylhexanoic acid (Octal) was successfully prepared by a pilot plant continuous process which utilized a flash mixer. Optimum process conditions and the effect of important process variables were determined. There was a seasonal cycle of short gelling times and low gel consistencies in the summer months and high results in the winter. The cause of the cycle is not known.
Aluminum isooctanoate (Isooctal) was prepared continuously and batchwise on both a laboratory and pilot plant scale. The continuously prepared products were not satisfactory. Good Isooctals were prepared batchwise and pilot plant results were the same as those obtained in the laboratory. Gel consistencies showed a seasonal cycle but thickening rates did not.
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