Skeletal formula
Space-filling model
CAS number  YesY
ChemSpider  N
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C8H18O
Molar mass 130.23 g mol−1
Density 0.824 g/cm3
Melting point −16 °C (3 °F; 257 K)
Boiling point 195 °C (383 °F; 468 K)
Solubility in water 0.460 g/liter[1]
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 N   YesY/N?)

1-Octanol is the molecular formula CH3(CH2)7OH. It is a fatty alcohol. Many other isomers are also known generically as octanols. 1-Octanol is manufactured for the synthesis of esters for use in perfumes and flavorings. Esters of octanol, such as octyl acetate, occur as components of essential oils.[2] It is used to evaluate the lipophilicity of pharmaceutical products.


Octanol is produced industrially by the oligomerization of alkylaluminium products. This route is known as the Ziegler alcohol synthesis.[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, which 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 relatively good approximation of the partitioning between the cytosol and lipid membranes of living systems.[3]

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:[4]

\log(K_{sc/w}) = a + b\log(K_{w/o})

Where a and b are constants,K_{sc/w} is the stratum corneum/ water partition coefficient, andK_{w/o} is the water/ octanol partition coefficient. The values of a and b vary between papers, but Cleek & Bunge[5] have reported the values a=0, b=0.74.


1-Octanol is mainly consumed as a precursor to perfumes.[2] It has been examined for controlling essential tremor and other types of involuntary neurological tremors.[6]


  1. ^ Lide, D. R., ed. (2013-2014). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (94th ed.). Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press.
  2. ^ a b c 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. ^ Schwarzenbach, Rene P.; Gschwend, Philip M.; Imboden, Dieter M. (2003).  
  4. ^ McCarley KD, Bunge AL (2001). "Pharmacokinetic Models of Dermal Absorption". Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 90 (11): 1699–1719.  
  5. ^ Cleek RL, Bunge AL (1993). "A new method for estimating dermal absorption from chemical exposure. 1. General approach". Pharmaceutical Research 10 (4): 497–506.  
  6. ^ Bushara K. et al. (2004). "Pilot trial of 1-octanol in essential tremor". Neurology 62 (1): 122–124.