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IUPAC name 1-octanol
Other names capryl alcohol
octyl alcohol
CAS number 111-87-5
Molecular formula C8H18O
Molar mass 130.23 g/mol
Density 0.824 g/cm3
Melting point

-16 °C

Boiling point

195 °C

Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Octanol is a straight chain fatty alcohol with eight carbon atoms and the molecular formula CH3(CH2)7OH. Although the term octanol usually refers exclusively to the primary alcohol 1-octanol, there are other less common isomers of octanol such as the secondary alcohols 2-octanol, 3-octanol and 4-octanol.

Octanol occurs naturally in the form of esters in some essential oils. The primary use of octanol is in the manufacture of various esters (both synthetic and naturally occurring), such as octyl acetate, which are used in perfumery and flavors. Other uses include experimental medical applications utilizing octanol to control Essential Tremor and other types of involuntary neurological tremors.[1]


Octanol is produced industrially by the oligomerization of ethylene using triethylaluminium followed by oxidation of the alkylaluminium products.[2] An idealized synthesis is shown:

Al(C2H5)3 + 9 C2H4 → Al(C8H17)3
Al(C8H17)3 + 3 O + 3 H2O → 3 HOC8H17 + Al(OH)3

The process generates a range of alcohols that are separated by distillation.

Water/ octanol partitioning

Octanol and water are immiscible. The distribution of a compound between water and octanol is used to calculate the partition coefficient 'P' of that molecule (often expressed as its logarithm to the base 10, log P). Water/ octanol partitioning is a good approximation of the partitioning between the cytosol and lipid membranes of living systems.[citation needed]

Many dermal absorption models consider the stratum corneum/ water partition coefficient to be well approximated by a function of the water/ octanol partition coefficient of the form [3]:

log(Ksc / w) = a + blog(Kw / o)

Where a and b are constants,Ksc / w is the stratum corneum/ water partition coefficient, andKo / w is the water/ octanol partition coefficient. The values of a and b vary between papers, but Cleek & Bunge [4] have reported the values a=0, b=0.74.


  1. ^ NCT00102596
  2. ^ Jürgen Falbe, Helmut Bahrmann, Wolfgang Lipps, Dieter Mayer "Alcohols, Aliphatic" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology Wiley-VCH Verlag; Weinheim, 2002. DOI: 10.1002/14356007.a01_279
  3. ^ McCarley KD, Bunge AL (2001). "Pharmacokinetic Models of Dermal Absorption". Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 90 (11): 1699-1719. PMID 11745728.
  4. ^ Cleek RL, Bunge AL (1993). "A new method for estimating dermal absorption from chemical exposure. 1. General approach.". Pharmaceutical Research 10 (4): 497-506. PMID 8483831.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Octanol". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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