Potassium linolenate, CAS 38660-45-6
Brownish solid or paste
Product ID: LINOLEN14
Solubility: water soluble
Flash point: 270-280C
Potassium soaps of C18 fatty acids such as stearate, oleate, linoleate, and linolenate are common anionic surfactants that are widely used as barrier-modifying agents, antimicrobes, detergents, and emulsifiers. Linolenic acid, the linolenate precursor, is found in walnuts, flaxseed, linseed, canola, safflower, perilla, and soy oils. It is a polyunsaturated, omega-3 (C18:3) fatty acid with three double bonds and a kinky chemical structure. The kinky structure is preserved in potassium linolenate. Hence, the three double bonds in potassium linolenate introduce chain kinks that influence the unique structure and physical properties of potassium linolenate. Other scientific studies established that the increased activity of potassium soaps increases with the degree of unsaturation in the fatty acid chain. For instance, in a series of C18 fatty acid soaps, the activity increases in the order: K-stearate (C18:0) < K-oleate (C18:1) < K-linoleate (C18:2) < K-linolenate (C18:3). In fact, potassium linolenate exhibits a happy combination of 18 carbon atoms, kinky chain structure, high iodine value, the capacity to form emulsions, and free water solubility.
As the fatty acid chain increases beyond C18, the antibacterial activity of potassium soaps is further influenced by the length of the carbon chain and the presence, number, position, and orientation of double bonds. Among the longer fatty acid chain soaps, the polyunsaturated fatty acid soaps such as the linolenate (C18:3), eicosapentaenoate (C20:5) and docosahexaenoate (C22:6) have been reported to show elevated potency. Since linolenate is more affordable than the other two, it is therefore a realistic candidate for new antimicrobial formulas.
Other exemplary uses of potassium linolenate include cleanser, disinfecting agents, minerals flotation agent, etc. Worth noting is the preferred use of potassium linolenate as an oil industry drying agent due to the ready oxidizability of the linolenate moiety.