Calcium Stearate

Calcium Stearate

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Calcium stearate occurs as a fine, white to yellowish-white, bulky powder having a slight, characteristic odor. It is unctuous and free from grittiness.

Nonproprietary Names

  • BP: Calcium Stearate
  • JP: Calcium Stearate
  • PhEur: Calcium Stearate
  • USP-NF: Calcium Stearate


Calcii stearas; calcium distearate; calcium octadecanoate; Deasit PC; HyQual; Kemistab EC-F; octadecanoic acid, calcium salt; stearic acid, calcium salt; Synpro.

Chemical Name and CAS Registry Number: Octadecanoic acid calcium salt [1592-23-0]

Empirical Formula and Molecular Weight

C36H70CaO4 607.03 (for pure material) The USP32–NF27 describes calcium stearate as a compound of calcium with a mixture of solid organic acids obtained from fats, and consists chiefly of variable proportions of calcium stearate and calcium palmitate. It contains the equivalent of 9.0–10.5% of calcium oxide.

The PhEur 6.3 describes calcium stearate as a mixture of calcium salts of different fatty acids consisting mainly of stearic acid [(C17H35COO)2Ca] and palmitic acid [(C15

H31COO)2Ca] with minor proportions of other fatty acids. It contains the equivalent of 9.0–10.5% of calcium oxide.

Functional Category: Tablet and capsule lubricant.

Applications in Pharmaceutical Formulation or Technology

Calcium stearate is primarily used in pharmaceutical formulations as a lubricant in tablet and capsule manufacture at concentrations up to 1.0% w/w. Although it has good antiadherent and lubricant properties, calcium stearate has poor glidant properties. Calcium stearate is also employed as an emulsifier, stabilizing agent, and suspending agent, and is also used in cosmetics and food products.

Method of Manufacture

Calcium stearate is prepared by the reaction of calcium chloride with a mixture of the sodium salts of stearic and palmitic acids. The calcium stearate formed is collected and washed with water to remove any sodium chloride

Related Substances

Magnesium stearate; stearic acid; zinc stearate.

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