From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia


1-Hexanol is an organic compound that belongs to the alcohols, with a six-carbon chain and a molecular formula of C6H14O. It is a colorless liquid that is slightly soluble in water, but more soluble in organic solvents such as ethanol and diethyl ether. 1-Hexanol has a distinctive odor that is somewhat grassy or fruity, making it a valuable ingredient in the flavor and fragrance industry.

Properties[edit | edit source]

1-Hexanol has a boiling point of approximately 157-159 °C and a melting point of -45 °C. Its density is around 0.814 g/cm3 at 20 °C. Being an alcohol, it is capable of forming hydrogen bonds, which affects its boiling point and solubility characteristics. 1-Hexanol is considered to be a medium-chain alcohol, which impacts its physical and chemical properties, including its solubility and volatility.

Production[edit | edit source]

1-Hexanol can be produced through several methods, including the hydroformylation of pentene followed by hydrogenation of the resulting hexanal. Another method involves the oleochemical industry, where it is produced from the reduction of castor oil-derived ricinoleic acid. Biotechnological production methods are also being explored, utilizing fermentation processes with genetically modified microorganisms to convert biomass into 1-hexanol.

Uses[edit | edit source]

1-Hexanol is used in a variety of applications due to its solvent properties and pleasant odor. In the flavor and fragrance industry, it is used as an ingredient in the manufacture of perfumes and flavorings. It also finds applications in the production of plasticizers, herbicides, and antiseptics. Additionally, 1-hexanol can be used as an intermediate in the chemical synthesis of other compounds, such as hexyl esters and hexyl ethers, which have various industrial applications.

Safety[edit | edit source]

Like many organic solvents, 1-hexanol can be hazardous to health if inhaled or ingested in large quantities. It can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Proper handling and storage procedures should be followed to minimize exposure and reduce the risk of fire, as 1-hexanol is flammable.

Environmental Impact[edit | edit source]

The environmental impact of 1-hexanol depends on its concentration and the context of its release into the environment. It is biodegradable under aerobic conditions, which means it can be broken down by microorganisms in the presence of oxygen. However, spills or large releases can be harmful to aquatic life and may require cleanup efforts to mitigate environmental damage.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD