From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

1,8-Octanediol, also known as octane-1,8-diol, is an organic compound that belongs to the group of alcohols. Its chemical formula is C8H18O2, indicating that it contains eight carbon atoms and two hydroxyl (-OH) groups. This compound is a diol, meaning it has two alcohol functional groups, which are located at the terminal positions of the carbon chain. 1,8-Octanediol is used in various industrial applications, including the production of polymers, as a moisturizing agent in cosmetics, and as an intermediate in the synthesis of other chemical compounds.

Properties[edit | edit source]

1,8-Octanediol is a white, waxy solid at room temperature. It is soluble in water and most organic solvents, making it versatile for use in a wide range of chemical processes. The presence of two hydroxyl groups makes it a bifunctional molecule, capable of undergoing reactions typical of alcohols such as esterification and etherification. Its molecular weight is 146.23 g/mol, and it has a melting point of 59-63°C.

Synthesis[edit | edit source]

1,8-Octanediol can be synthesized through the hydrogenation of dicarboxylic acids or their derivatives. One common method involves the reduction of suberic acid (octanedioic acid) using a suitable catalyst, such as nickel, under high pressure and temperature. Another synthetic route is the hydroformylation of 1,7-octadiene followed by hydrogenation, which yields 1,8-Octanediol.

Applications[edit | edit source]

      1. Polymer Industry

In the polymer industry, 1,8-Octanediol is used as a monomer or a comonomer in the production of polyesters and polyurethanes. Its incorporation into polymers can improve the material's hydrophilicity, flexibility, and biodegradability.

      1. Cosmetics

Due to its moisturizing properties, 1,8-Octanediol finds applications in the cosmetics industry. It is added to skin care products, such as creams and lotions, to help retain moisture in the skin. Additionally, its antimicrobial properties make it a useful additive in formulations to preserve the product and protect the skin from bacterial infections.

      1. Chemical Synthesis

1,8-Octanediol serves as an intermediate in the synthesis of various chemical compounds, including pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. Its bifunctional nature allows for the creation of complex molecules through selective reactions at each hydroxyl group.

Safety and Toxicology[edit | edit source]

1,8-Octanediol is generally considered safe for use in cosmetics and industrial applications. However, like all chemicals, it should be handled with care. Direct contact with the skin or eyes may cause irritation, and ingestion or inhalation of large amounts can be harmful. Safety data sheets (SDS) provide detailed information on handling, storage, and emergency measures.

Environmental Impact[edit | edit source]

The environmental impact of 1,8-Octanediol depends on its production and disposal methods. As a biodegradable compound, it is less likely to accumulate in the environment compared to more persistent chemicals. However, its synthesis from petrochemical sources raises concerns about sustainability and the use of non-renewable resources.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD