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  • A Non-Timber Forest Product Resin Produced on Trees (Not By Them, Unlike Rosin ) by Lac Bugs
  • The Females essentially produce a protective tube around the branches that consists of this material
    • These branches are then Pruned off during harvest time
    • The Processing Varies (And is Further Documented in a Sub-Section of this Page), but it typically entails
      • Crude Removal of the Shellac Deposits from the Pruned Branches
      • Removal of Dirt and Other Debris from the Removed Crude Shellac
      • Refining of this "Seed Shellac"
  • Given that it is nearly all produced there, Much of the Literature Comes Out of India, and Much of the Terminology is also in Hindi
  • The material can be used as:

Things to Look Into

Can it be Processed in a Similar Manner to how Paper Mills are Actually Bio-Refineries

Misc Physical Properties


  • Can Shellac, via a combination of dilution in a solvent then Recrystallization , or Chromatography be "upgraded" from lower darker grades to amber grades?
  • Furthermore could it be made (more) clear?
  • Could individual components be separated out, and if so what advantageous material properties could this unlock if any?
  • A similar question exists for Beeswax Processing
  • Vacuum Distillation may not work as well for shellac, but may work for Beeswax

Host Trees

From Wikipedia:

  • Kerria lacca can be cultivated on either cultivated or wild host plants.
  • In India the most common host plants are:
    • Dhak (Butea monosperma)
    • Ber (Ziziphus mauritiana)
    • Kusum (Schleichera oleosa) (reported to give the best quality and yield)[6]
  • In Thailand the most common host plants are
    • Rain tree (Albizia saman)
    • Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan)
  • In China the common host plants include
    • Pigeon pea ([Cajanus cajan)
    • Hibiscus species
  • In Mexico
  • Estimated yields per tree in India are 6–10 kg for kusum, 1.5–6 kg for ber, and 1–4 kg for dhak.[7] The bugs' life cycles can produce two sticklac yields per year, though it may be better to rest for six months to let the host tree recover.[8]

Alternative Trees

  • Would be interesting to look into alternative trees to adapt production to other areas
  • Also the potential of Selective Breeding / Genetic Engineering of the Insects and/or Trees to make them "work"

Pest Potential

  • How much do they impact the host tree?
    • Ie with plants such as Jatropha (which as per Wikipedia is used) can you still get a similar amount of fruit yield? ( Could we have a Bio-Diesel and Shellac Tree?!? lol )
  • Also how much does it spread; could it become an Invasive Species if introduced into Non-Native Areas?
    • Especially if modified to work with the local Flora...

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