From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia


1-Heptacosanol is a fatty alcohol with the chemical formula C27H56O. It is also known as heptacosyl alcohol or heptacosanol. This compound is a member of the long-chain aliphatic alcohols, which are substances comprising a long linear chain of carbon atoms with a hydroxyl group (-OH) attached at one end. 1-Heptacosanol is a saturated compound, meaning it does not contain any double bonds or triple bonds within its carbon chain.

Properties[edit | edit source]

1-Heptacosanol is characterized by its waxy texture and is solid at room temperature. Its physical properties, such as melting point and solubility, are influenced by its long carbon chain. Typically, the longer the carbon chain, the higher the melting point and the lower the solubility in water. However, 1-Heptacosanol can dissolve in organic solvents such as ethanol, chloroform, and diethyl ether.

Sources and Production[edit | edit source]

1-Heptacosanol can be found in various natural sources, including certain plant waxes and animal fats. It is often extracted from these sources through processes that involve the saponification or hydrogenation of fats and oils. Additionally, 1-Heptacosanol can be synthesized through the reduction of fatty acids or their esters with suitable reducing agents.

Applications[edit | edit source]

1-Heptacosanol has several industrial and commercial applications. It is used in the production of cosmetics and personal care products, such as creams, lotions, and ointments, due to its emollient properties. In the pharmaceutical industry, it serves as an ingredient in the formulation of various medicinal products. Furthermore, 1-Heptacosanol is utilized in the manufacture of lubricants, plastics, and surfactants.

Health and Safety[edit | edit source]

As with many chemical substances, the handling of 1-Heptacosanol requires caution. It is advisable to use personal protective equipment and adhere to safety guidelines to prevent exposure. Inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact with 1-Heptacosanol can lead to irritation or other adverse health effects. Therefore, proper ventilation, use of gloves, and eye protection are recommended during its handling.

Environmental Impact[edit | edit source]

The environmental impact of 1-Heptacosanol depends on its concentration and the context of its release into the environment. As a naturally occurring substance, it is generally considered to be biodegradable under certain conditions. However, the accumulation of 1-Heptacosanol in the environment, particularly in water bodies, can pose risks to aquatic life. It is important to manage its disposal and use in a manner that minimizes its environmental footprint.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD