Carnaúba wax is obtained from the leaves of a palm tree known as Copernicia Prunifera. It is a native palm tree that grows mainly in the northeastern states of Brazil, especially in the states of Ceará and Piauí. The carnaubeira (carnaúba tree) is very important to the region, so much that it is present on the flag of the state of Ceará.
This palm tree reaches a height between twenty-five and thirty-five feet and proliferates alongside river banks, streams and humid plains. To avoid its own dehydration, this tree naturally produces a wax through its straws. The harvest usually occurs between September and February, with a maximum annual cut of thirty palm leaves per tree. To cut the straw the workers use long sticks with blades at their ends; those straws are collected and then left in the sun to dry. After drying, they are grinded to obtain the powder that covers the straw, which contains between 70% and 90% of pure carnaúba raw material. The wax extraction from the powder is done by adding special solvents and after this process, the wax is then filtered and cleared.
The degree of purity and wax color depends on the type of powder and its handling. There are basically two types of powder: the powder of the mature straw and the powder of the core leaves, better known in the region as “eye powder”. The latter is obtained from the straws that are not ripped yet and it is best suited for the production of fine waxes, as it produces a lighter color wax with a higher degree of purity. The wax extracted from this “eye powder” is known worldwide as type 1 carnaúba wax.
When talking about natural waxes, carnaúba is irreplaceable, especially when looking for a glossy shine and the vehicle’s paint protection. It is a rare wax and its characteristics have been known for years. In addition to, it has a high hydrophobic power and a great resistance to UV rays. These unique properties make carnaúba wax very appreciated by auto collectors and enthusiasts.