spermaceti


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spermaceti

(spûr`məsē`tē), solid waxy substance, white, odorless, and tasteless, separated from the oils obtained from the sperm whale (see sperm oilsperm oil,
liquid wax obtained from the sperm whale, or cachalot, and related marine mammals. It flows readily, is clear, and varies in color from pale yellow to brownish yellow. Chemically it is not a true oil.
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) and other marine mammals. A mixture of esters of fatty acids, it is composed chiefly of cetyl palmitate. Spermaceti is insoluble in water and does not putrefy. It is used mostly in ointments and cosmetics and in fine candles and was widely employed formerly as the waterproofing medium for oilskins.

Spermaceti

 

the waxy substance obtained by cooling the liquid animal wax contained in a large fibrous sac in the head of the sperm whale. Spermaceti, a complex ester of palmitic acid and cetyl alcohol, crystallizes in the form of white platelets. It is insoluble in water but dissolves readily in ether, acetone, and hot ethanol. It melts at 53°-54°C. The term “spermaceti” was originally used to refer to the sperm of the sperm whale. The substance serves as a sound conductor for the whale. During the 18th century spermaceti was used in the manufacture of candles; today it is used as a lubricant and as a base for the production of creams and ointments.

spermaceti

[‚spər·mə′sed·ē]
(materials)
A white, crystalline, oily (waxy) solid that separates from sperm oil; soluble in ether, chloroform, and carbon disulfide, insoluble in water; melts at 42 to 50°C; used in ointments, emulsions, candles, soaps, and cosmetics; and for linen finishing. Also known as spermaceti wax.

spermaceti

a white waxy substance obtained from oil from the head of the sperm whale: used in cosmetics, candles, ointments, etc.
References in periodicals archive ?
There were time x fence effects at the Spermaceti Cove site for dead and missing clams ([chi square] = 11.
Enderby, one of the most prominent owners of whaling vessels, about whether a spermaceti whale had ever been captured by his crew, the answer was: "Mr.
Our modelling also indicates that the momentum of the spermaceti organ of a large mobile sperm whale could seriously injure a stationary opponent of similar size, despite the necessity for damping to protect the attacking whale.
According to Vickers's estimates, spermaceti oil earned twice as much as right whale oil, and the "head matter was worth three times as much.
not turned-to-stone fossils but the original organic material in tusks of hairy mammoth, walrus, and narwal plus spermaceti and killer whale teeth are being gleaned by native peoples who live on the shores and shallows and inland deposits of the far north.
Flour and spermaceti ointment were also used to dress frostbite; on at least one occasion the physician indicated that rubbing with snow was effective (fol.
Whale oil figured in the production of cleansing agents and other chemical products, and the waxy substance called spermaceti, taken from the head of the sperm whale, made excellent candles.
A subtheme of Melville's cetology is the deckhand with his arms deep in spermaceti teasing the professors sitting in libraries of dubious knowledge or in laboratories too small to accommodate even the tenth part of a whale's head.
But my after-dusk experiences as a boy make me sympathetic to all those folks 160 years ago who daily had to deal with the darkness with their spermaceti candles and whale oil lamps.
Then again, there is an imposing quarto, written by one Captain Colnett, a Post Captain in the English navy, entitled "A Voyage round Cape Horn into the South Seas, for the purpose of extending the Spermaceti Whale Fisheries.
The chief doctor in the fleet made the decision (there was no alternative) to put his entire body into a bath full of spermaceti.
It is vegetal-based Spermaceti substitute, biodegradable and is useful as a substantive, water-resistant, emollient for lip balms and high SPF lotions and creams.