Alkaline hydrolysis of wool fat (lanolin) in a medium of proton and aprotic solvents

  • Saparkali Konuspayev al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • Batiha Akhayevna Kassenova Kazakh National Agrarian University, Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • Zauresh Suleimenovna Akhatova al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • Roza Kalyevna Nurbaeva al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Keywords: wool fat, lanolin, hydrolysis, sterol alcohols, cholesterol, ethanol, isopropanol, methanol, water


The raw material being studied is the woolen fat of the sheep of the Edilbay fine-fleece and Kazakh arkharomeric fine-fleece, which is excreted when washing wool in primary wool processing plants (PWP) in the regions of Kazakhstan, such as Semipalatinsk, Aktyubinsk, Zhambyl and Tokmak. Earlier we obtained anhydrous lanolin from the fat of various factories of the PWP. In both cases, positive results were obtained and a certificate of compliance of anhydrous lanolin FS RK was obtained. In terms of its chemical composition, wool fat is a mixture of C10-C16 carboxylic acid esters with aliphatic, terpenic, triterpene and sterol alcohols. It also contains vitamins, proteins, sterols and other physiologically active compounds. In the hydrolysis of wool fat, a mixture of sterol alcohols, triterpene alcohols and fatty acid salts are assumed. Valuable among them are sterol alcohols, which constitute up to 29% of the sum of all alcohols. Cholesterol and its derivatives are the raw materials for the synthesis of steroid drugs. Salts of fatty acids are used as an emulsifier in pharmacy and cosmetology. The aim of this paper is to complete the saponification of wool fat and the separation of a mixture of sterol alcohols. We show the patterns of alkaline hydrolysis of wool fat in the liquid phase in the presence of mixtures of various solvents. As a solvent, the ethanol-water, isopropanol-water system in which wool fat is only partially dissolved has been studied. In the wool fat-alcohol-water-NaOH system, a stable emulsion is formed. Ways that prevent the formation of an emulsion are proposed.


1 Makar IA (1977) Biochemical foundations for increasing the wool productivity of Sheep [Biohimicheskie osnovyi sherstnoy produktivnosti ovets]. Kolos, Moscow, USSR. (In Russian).

2 Konuspayev SR, Kasenova BA, Nurbayeva RK, Ahatova ZS (2002) News of Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Chemical series [Izvestiya MON RK. Seriya himicheskaya] 2:63-66. (In Russian).

3 Konuspayev SR, Kasenova BA, Zhanbekov HN, Bizhanov ZhA, Imankulov TS (2000) A method for producing lanolin [Sposob polucheniya lanolina]. Patent of the Republic of Kazakhstan No.32780 [Patent Respubliki Kazakhstan Nomer 32780]. (In Russian).

4 Tsagareishvili GV, Bashura GS, Lyapunov NA (1976) Lanolin and its derivatives in pharmaceutical and cosmetic practice [Lanolin i ego proizvodnyie v farmatsevticheskoy i kosmeticheskoy praktike]. Metsinereba, Tbilisi, USSR. (In Russian).

5 Yves M (1967) Procede de saponification de lanoline [Brevet France No. 1.535.699]. (In France).

6 Shvarts V, Pihera P, Uldrich M et al (1982) The way of allocation of cholesterol from lanolin [Sposob vyideleniya holesterina iz lanolina]. Certificate of authorship of ChSSR No. 231912 [Avtorskoe svidetelstvo ChSSR Nomer 231912]. (In Russian).

7 Simamura U, Simidzu T (1989) Patent of Japan No. JPS6474298A. Production of fat as substitute for lanolin / Nippon Oils & Fats Co Ltd, Japan.

8 Asankozhaev KA, Soboleva GE, Bogoslovski et al (1986) Pharm Chem J-USSR 3:73-75. (In Russian)

9 Ermolova LS, Ermolov IA (2006) Method of production of sterols: lanosterol and cholesterol from wool fat [Sposob proizvodstva sterinov: lanosterola i holesterola iz sherstnogo zhira] Patent of The Russian Federation No. 2283318 [Patent Rossiyskoy Federatsii Nomer 2283318]. (In Russian)

10 (1972) Patent of USA No. 3821121 Receipt from lanolin of alcohol with low content of cholesterol used as dispersants and emulsifier.

11 Ermolova LS, Ermolov IA (2014) The use of lanosterol fraction from wool fat as a bioemulsifier for cosmetic anti-aging agents [Primenenie lanosterolovoy fraktsii iz sherstnogo zhira v kachestve bioemulgatora dlya kosmeticheskih antivozrastnyih sredstv]. Application of The Russian Federation No. 2012151996. [Zayavka Rossiyskoy Federatsii Nomer 2012151996. (In Russian)

12 Suyunchayev RS, Serebryakov RA, Ermolova LS, Kalinicheshnko AB (2006) The method of obtaining wool fat-lanolin and the device for its implementation [Sposob polucheniya sherstnogo zhira-lanolina i ustroystvo dlya ego osuschestvleniya]. Application of The Russian Federation No. 2004111276 [Zayavka Rossiyskoy Federatsii Nomer 2004111276]. (In Russian)
How to Cite
Konuspayev, S., Kassenova, B., Akhatova, Z., & Nurbaeva, R. (2018). Alkaline hydrolysis of wool fat (lanolin) in a medium of proton and aprotic solvents. Chemical Bulletin of Kazakh National University, 88(1), 4-9.