This annual crop of pork a jocund professor once described as "a prodigious mass of heavy carburetted hydrogen gas and scrofula;" but the chemists of our day would more properly stigmatize it as a vast quantity of Luzic, Myristic, Palmitic, Margaric, and Stearic acids in combination with glycerine and fibre.
The acid obtained from the first fractionation had the melting point at 75 deg.-76 deg., indicating an acid either in carbon then stearic or palmitic acids. The acids obtained from the third fractionation had a melting point of 53 deg.-54 deg.
From the portion of the calcium salts insoluble in alcohol, a fatty acid was obtained with a melting point and composition almost identical with the melting point and composition of palmitic acid. The aqueous portion of the separation effected by water and ether was examined for the fatty acid. The lead salts of the fatty acids were digested with ether, which dissolved out the lead oleate.
This amount of pure oleic acid would require 33.95 c.c.; of pure stearic acid, which has almost the same molecular weight as oleic acid, 33.71 c.c.; or of pure palmitic acid, 37.4 c.c. This, taken in conjunction with the way in which the acid melted, makes it extremely probable that it is a mixture of oleic and stearic acids.
In conclusion, I should say that but a small proportion of the fatty acids exist in the wool oil uncombined; that the proportion of oleic acid is small, and can only be obtained in an oxidized condition; that the main portion of the fatty acids is composed of stearic and palmitic acids in nearly equal proportions; that the existence of a fatty acid, containing a higher per cent. of carbon than those mentioned, is not fully established.
The conversion into soap is a very simple matter. As the fats are acids a mixture of palmitic, oleic, and stearic acids and not the glycerine salts of these acids, like ordinary fats, soap is made by causing them directly to unite with caustic soda.
C. This acid in composition and general properties was very similar to that obtained by freezing the naphtha solution of the oil, and is probably a mixture of stearic and palmitic acids. These acids, being in combination with the bases of the oil, would be set free only on saponifying the oil and subsequently decomposing with acid.
The first on examination proved to be a mixture of palmitic and stearic acids existing uncombined in the wool oil. The original wool oil was saponified by boiling with alcoholic potash. The soap formed was separated into two portions by shaking with ether and water.