These enabled him to elucidate the true nature of soap; he was also able to discover the composition of stearin and olein, and to isolate stearic and oleic acids, the names of which were invented by him.
Thus some individual fatty acids, such as stearic acid and arachidic acid (which is characteristic of ground nut oil) can be identified.
A fat consisting of the glyceride of one fatty acid only, such as stearin or tristearin, C3H5(O C1811350)3, the glycerin ester of stearic acid, C17H35 C02H.
Hydriodic acid reduces both oleic and elaidic acids to stearic acid.
It is also obtained when sebacic, stearic and oleic acids are oxidized with nitric acid.