CNSL has innumerable applications in polymer based industries such as friction linings, paints and varnishes, lamination resins, rubber compounding resins, cashew cements, polyurethane based polymers, surfactants, epoxy resins, foundry chemicals and intermediates for chemical industry. It offers much scope and opportunities for development of even "tailor – made" polymers.
CNSL consists of chiefly of two naturally produced phenolic compounds – Anacardic acid (about 90%) and cardol (about 10%). Anacardic acid a derivative of salicyclic acid is easily decarboxylated by heat during the roasting process employed to obtain cardanol which is a monohydroxy – phenol. Cardol is a resorcinol derivative having a long unsaturated hydro – carbon chain.