Montan Wax is derived by solvent extraction of lignite. The earliest production of montan wax on a commercial scale was in Germany during the latter half of the nineteenth century, and Germany continues to lead the world in production of montan wax; some montan wax is produced in US frin long lignite bed in California.
The composition of montan wax varies geographically with production, but includes varying amounts of wax, resin and asphalt. The largest traditional use of Montan wax is in the formulations of carbon paper inks. The decrease in use of carbon paper resulted in montan wax being further refined for use in the formulation of polishes and as plastics lubricants. Montan wax is hard and brittle and has a high melt point; its properties are similar to those of natural plant waxes such as carnauba, which it can replace.