Wax, as solid concrete, abounding in the vegetable kingdom, whence it is collected by bees. - In the article Bees-wax, we have stated the manner in which this substance is obtained, and likewise the uses to which it is applied : at present, therefore, we shall direct our attention to the Handling or whitening of wax, and to the process by which it may be artificially extracted from vegetables.
With a view to bleach war, it is cut in small pieces, melted, and poured into cold water, where it granulates. In this state, it is exposed to the sun and air ; melted, and granulated repeatedly; then submitted to the influence of the sun, air, and dew, in the interval between each liquefaction. When the wax is perfectly blanched, it is dissolved for the last time, and cast into flat moulds, in which it is again exposed to the air, for one or two days, in order to render it more transparent.
Wax may be extracted from the leaves and petals of numerous vegetables (see the General Index of Reference); by collecting, bruising, and dissolving them, first in water, and then in alkohol, or spirit of wine, till every other ingredient that is soluble in these fluids, be-completely separated The residuum is now mixed with 6 times its weight of a solution of pure ammonia: when it has been thoroughlv macerated, the liquor must be decanted ; filtred ; and, while it is briskly stirred, a sufficient portion of sulphuric acid must be gradually added, to super-saturate the alkali. Thus, the wax will be precipitated in the form of a yellow powder; which, on being carefully washed with simple water, and melted over a slow fire, possesses all the properties of bees-w ax. Way-benNet. See Wall-Barley.