Soybean Candles for Healthy Life and Well Being

Adapted from:


Project Director Performing Organization
R. Massoudi
N. Ngninzeko

Engineering Technologies
South Carolina State University
Orangeburg, SC 29117


Non-Technical Summary

Several studies of candles indicated that paraffin wax candle burning could cause severe health problems from the harmful burning emissions. This project is going to study and address the health problems associated with the use of petroleum based candles and the possible use of its replacement by soybean candles that is claimed to have no harmful emissions.



The goal of this proposal is to address the realization of health and well being of our citizens by considerably reducing the possible environmental pollutants caused by candles made from petroleum-base. Studies related to the harmful chemicals of paraffin candles and the lack of comparable pollutants in soybean candles are of utmost interest. The second objective is to address the economical feasibility of replacing a renewable source like soybean for petroleum source, which is not renewable and depletes and depends on foreign import. Beyond that, using soybean would bring a healthy economy to our farmers by producing more and better products. Certainly this study would provide great deal of information concerning health issues relating to inhaling emissions from candles.



Whereas soybeans are mass produced in the world and many consumer items such as printing ink, body and skin care products, hair care products, cleaning products, candles, etc., has resulted because of soybeans research. One of the primary advantages of candles made from soy wax is that the soot emitted is considerably less compared to those made from paraffin wax. The soot from paraffin candles may cause damage to your walls, ceilings, vents, curtains or blinds, and even carpets and other areas of your home. Since soybeans are a renewable and biodegradable resource, it is a prime source for candle wax. Because of the abundance of this agricultural product, new uses of it are being researched. Careful studies indicate that candle burning could cause severe health problems under the normal burning conditions just because of harmful emissions. This project is going to study and address the health problems associated with the use of petroleum based candles and study the possible use and replacement of soybean candles that is claimed to have no harmful emissions. Apparently, this research is necessitated because of the health problems related to the use of petroleum based products. By replacing paraffin wax with soy wax in candles, an estimated 60 million pounds of soybeans would be required for annual candle production. This requirement will have a direct economic impact on soybean farmers as well as a health and environmental impact in this country. The burning of soy candles in homes and cars address the real issue at hand, which is the health of American and global consumers. The burning of paraffin candle gives off more toxic fumes than soy candles which may be harmful to individuals.



Knowledge Area (KA)
Subject (S) Science (F) Objective (G)
511 1820 2000 2.1 100%

KA511 New and Improved Non-Food Products and Processes
S1820 Soybean
F2000 Chemistry
G2.1 Expand Domestic Market Opportunities



paraffin wax; paraffin candles; soybeans; soybean candles; contact dermatitis; environmental pollutants; petroleum base products; burn test; patch test; candle standard; smoke emissions; optimize candle formulations; densitometer



Jan 1, 2008 TO Dec 31, 2008
OUTPUTS: During this period, we have tested two categories of candles candle to determine whether any type produce unwanted hazardous products for human health during burning. This is an important goal for the objectives of this project which determines the safety of various candles for the consumers. For this purpose we have made a special chamber that was used to burn candles, the burning products were passed through an ampoule of coconut charcoal at a rate of 0.2 liters per minute to trap all organic substances. The adsorbed materials were dissolved in 2 milliliters of carbon-disulfide and 2 micro liters of this solution was injected in GC/MS column to be analyzed. The capillary column used for this purpose was from J&W with specification of "stationary phase: DB-5HT; 15m x 0.250 mm x 0.10 mm; -60 degrees Celcius to 400 degrees celcius." the column temperature was programmed to run from 50 degrees celcius to 300 degrees celcius with a rate of 10 degrees celcius per minute for a total run time of 47 minutes. Before running the real samples, the system was tested for the solvent, CS2, to be sure if it was pure and did not produce peaks to be confused with those that formed from the burning of candles. The resultant chromatograms were analyzed using a NIST library to determine all possible peaks for specified sample. PARTICIPANTS: Ruhullah Massoudi, Principal Investigator and Amid Hamidi an undergraduate chemistry student worked on the project. The PI has been on continuous contact with George Papas of Lumi-Lite Co., inc., and Robert Moss of S.E.A. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audience for this project could be the entire population of the world. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.



2008-01-01 TO 2008-12-31 The direct impact of this project is to eliminate any health hazard substances that might affect human health causing ill health or possibly sometimes death due to complications that would result from inhalation of hazardous materials. Knowledge of the possible vaporized substance from specified candles would allow us to choose those candles that would not produce unwanted materials that can cause either material or health hazard to human beings. Economically, regular candles produce carbon which is ruining the furniture, walls, cloths, which is expensive to clean and remove it. Therefore the overall impact of this project will be beneficial for entire population of the world, nations and governments to have healthy and productive generations.