|Jmol-3D images||Image 1
|Molar mass||108.14 g mol−1|
|Density||1.044 g cm−3|
|Melting point||−15.2 °C; 4.6 °F; 257.9 K|
|Boiling point||205.3 °C; 401.5 °F; 478.4 K|
|Solubility in water||3.50 g/100 mL (20 °C)
4.29 g/100 mL (25 °C)
|Solubility||soluble in benzene, methanol, chloroform, ethanol, ether, acetone|
|Refractive index (nD)||1.5396|
|Dipole moment||1.67 D|
|217.8 J/K mol|
|Std enthalpy of
|Flash point||101 °C; 214 °F; 374 K|
|Autoignition temperature||436 °C; 817 °F; 709 K|
|LD50||1250 mg/kg (rat, oral)|
| (what is: / ?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
Benzyl alcohol is an aromatic alcohol with the formula C6H5CH2OH. The benzyl group is often abbreviated "Bn" (not to be confused with "Bz" which is used for benzoyl), thus benzyl alcohol is denoted as BnOH. Benzyl alcohol is a colorless liquid with a mild pleasant aromatic odor. It is a useful solvent due to its polarity, low toxicity, and low vapor pressure. Benzyl alcohol is partially soluble in water (4 g/100 mL) and completely miscible in alcohols and diethyl ether.
- C6H5CH2Cl + NaOH → C6H5CH2OH + NaCl
- C6H5CH2OH + NCCHCH2 → C6H5CH2N(H)C(O)CHCH2
Benzyl alcohol is used as a general solvent for inks, paints, lacquers, and epoxy resin coatings. It is also a precursor to a variety of esters, used in the soap, perfume, and flavor industries. It is often added to intravenous medication solutions as a preservative due to its bacteriostatic and antipruritic properties. It is also used as a photographic developer.
Use in health care
Benzyl alcohol is used as a bacteriostatic preservative at low concentration in intravenous medications. It is oxidized rapidly in healthy individuals to benzoic acid, conjugated with glycine in the liver, and excreted as hippuric acid. High concentrations can result in toxic effects including respiratory failure, vasodilation, hypotension, convulsions, and paralysis. Newborns, especially if critically ill, may not metabolize benzyl alcohol as readily as adults. Reports in the early 1980s of sixteen neonatal deaths associated with the use of saline flush solutions containing benzyl alcohol preservative led to recommendations to avoid its use in neonates.
The use of benzyl alcohol as a 5% solution has been approved by the U.S. FDA in the treatment of head lice in children older than 6 months and in adults. The product is sold in the United States (prescription-only) as Ulesfia lotion. The benzyl alcohol prevents the lice from closing their respiratory spiracles: the spiracles become blocked with the other products in the lotion, and the lice asphyxiate. The lotion is not effective against louse eggs, and so two applications with an interval of seven days are required to treat a case of louse infestation.
Benzyl alcohol has nearly the same refraction index of quartz and wool fibre. If a clear quartz object is immersed in benzyl alcohol, it becomes almost invisible. This has been used as a method to non-destructively recognize if an object is made of true quartz or not (see crystal skull). Similarly, white wool immersed in benzyl alcohol also becomes almost invisible clearly revealing contaminants such as dark and medullated fibres and vegetable matter.
- benzyl alcohol.
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- Prescribing Information for Ulesfia Lotion, Sciele Pharmaceuticals, Inc., April 2009, retrieved 2009-08-29.