|Jmol-3D images||Image 1|
|Molar mass||242.44 g mol−1|
49 °C, 322 K, 120 °F
344 °C, 617 K, 651 °F
|Solubility in water||Insoluble|
|Flash point||185 °C|
| (what is: / ?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Cetyl alcohol //, also known as 1-hexadecanol and palmityl alcohol, is a fatty alcohol with the formula CH3(CH2)15OH. At room temperature, cetyl alcohol takes the form of a waxy white solid or flakes. The name cetyl derives from the whale oil (Latin: cetus) from which it was first isolated.
Cetyl alcohol was discovered in 1817 by the French chemist Michel Chevreul when he heated spermaceti, a waxy substance obtained from sperm whale oil, with caustic potash (potassium hydroxide). Flakes of cetyl alcohol were left behind on cooling.
Cetyl alcohol is used in the cosmetic industry as an opacifier in shampoos, or as an emollient, emulsifier or thickening agent in the manufacture of skin creams and lotions. It is also employed as a lubricant for nuts and bolts.
People who suffer from eczema can be sensitive to cetyl alcohol, though this may be due to impurities rather than cetyl alcohol itself. Ironically, this ingredient is sometimes included in medications for the treatment of eczema.
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