Decanoic acid

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For the term capric as it related to music see Capriccio (music)
Decanoic acid
Skeletal formula of decanoic acid
Ball-and-stick model of decanoic acid
IUPAC name
Decanoic acid
Other names
Capric acid,[1] n-Capric acid, n-Decanoic acid, Decylic acid, n-Decylic acid, C10:0 (Lipid numbers)
334-48-5 YesY
1002-62-6 (sodium salt) N
ChEBI CHEBI:30813 YesY
ChEMBL ChEMBL107498 YesY
ChemSpider 2863 YesY
DrugBank DB03600 N
EC number 206-376-4
Jmol-3D images Image
KEGG C01571 YesY
PubChem 2969
RTECS number HD9100000
Molar mass 172.26 g·mol−1
Appearance White crystals
Odor Strong rancid and unpleasant[2]
Density 0.893 g/cm3 (25 °C)[3]
0.8884 g/cm3 (35.05 °C)
0.8773 g/cm3 (50.17 °C)[4]
Melting point 31.6 °C (88.9 °F; 304.8 K)[6]
Boiling point 268.7 °C (515.7 °F; 541.8 K) [5]
0.015 g/100 mL (20 °C)[5]
Solubility Soluble in alcohol, ether, CHCl3, C6H6, CS2, acetone[2]
log P 4.09[5]
Vapor pressure 4.88·10−5 kPa (25 °C)[2]
0.1 kPa (108 °C)[5]
2.03 kPa (160 °C)[3][1]
Acidity (pKa) 4.9[2]
Thermal conductivity 0.372 W/m·K (solid)
0.141 W/m·K (liquid)[4]
1.4288 (40 °C)[2]
Viscosity 4.327 cP (50 °C)[5]
2.88 cP (70 °C)[4]
Crystal structure Monoclinic (−3.15 °C)[7]
Space group P21/c[7]
Lattice constant a = 23.1 Å, b = 4.973 Å, c = 9.716 Å[7]
Lattice constant α = 90°, β = 91.28°, γ = 90°
475.59 J/mol·K[1]
−713.7 kJ/mol[5]
6079.3 kJ/mol[1]
MSDS External MSDS
Main hazards Medium toxicity
GHS pictograms The exclamation-mark pictogram in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)[3]
GHS signal word Warning
H315, H319, H335[3]
P261, P305+351+338[3]
EU classification Irritant Xi
R-phrases R36/37/38
S-phrases S24/25, S26, S36/37/39
Ingestion hazard May be toxic
Inhalation hazard May cause irritation
Skin hazard May be toxic on contact
NFPA 704
Flammability code 1: Must be pre-heated before ignition can occur. Flash point over 93 °C (200 °F). E.g., canola oil Health code 2: Intense or continued but not chronic exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible residual injury. E.g., chloroform Reactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogen Special hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Flash point 110 °C (230 °F; 383 K) [3]
10 g/kg (rats, oral)[8]
Related compounds
Related fatty acids
Caprylic acid
Lauric acid
Related compounds
Except where noted otherwise, data is given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 N verify (what isYesY/N?)
Infobox references

Decanoic acid (capric acid) is a saturated fatty acid. Its formula is CH3(CH2)8COOH. Salts and esters of decanoic acid are called decanoates or "caprates". The term capric acid arises from the Latin "capric" which pertains to goats due to their olfactory similarities.[9]


Capric acid occurs naturally in coconut oil (about 10%) and palm kernel oil (about 4%), otherwise it is uncommon in typical seed oils.[10] It is found in the milk of various mammals and to a lesser extent in other animal fats.[6]

Two other acids are named after goats: caproic (a C6 fatty acid) and caprylic (a C8 fatty acid). Along with decanoic acid, these total 15% in goat milk fat.


Decanoic acid can be prepared from oxidation of primary alcohol decanol by using chromium trioxide (CrO3) oxidant under acidic conditions.[11]

Neutralization of decanoic acid or saponification of its esters, typically triglycerides, with sodium hydroxide will give sodium decanoate. This salt (CH3(CH2)8COONa+) is a component of some types of soap.


Decanoic acid is used in the manufacture of esters for artificial fruit flavors and perfumes. It is also used as an intermediate in chemical syntheses. It is used in organic synthesis and industrially in the manufacture of perfumes, lubricants, greases, rubber, dyes, plastics, food additives and pharmaceuticals.[8]


Decanoate ester prodrugs of various pharmaceuticals are available. Since decanoic acid is a fatty acid, forming a salt or ester with a drug will increase its lipophilicity and its affinity for fatty tissue. Since distribution of a drug from fatty tissue is usually slow, one may develop a long-acting injectable form of a drug (called a Depot injection) by using its decanoate form. Some examples of drugs available as a decanoate ester include nandrolone, fluphenazine, bromperidol, and haloperidol.


  1. ^ a b c d n-Decanoic acid in Linstrom, P.J.; Mallard, W.G. (eds.) NIST Chemistry WebBook, NIST Standard Reference Database Number 69. National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg MD. (retrieved 2014-06-15)
  2. ^ a b c d e CID 2969 from PubChem
  3. ^ a b c d e f Sigma-Aldrich Co., Decanoic acid. Retrieved on 2014-06-15.
  4. ^ a b c Mezaki, Reiji; Mochizuki, Masafumi; Ogawa, Kohei (2000). Engineering Data on Mixing (1st ed.). Elsevier Science B.V. p. 278. ISBN 0-444-82802-8. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Lide, David R., ed. (2009). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (90th ed.). Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. ISBN 978-1-4200-9084-0. 
  6. ^ a b "Lexicon of lipid nutrition (IUPAC Technical Report)". Pure and Applied Chemistry 73 (4): 685–744. 2001. doi:10.1351/pac200173040685. 
  7. ^ a b c Bond, Andrew D. (2003). "On the crystal structures and melting point alternation of the n-alkyl carboxylic acids". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  8. ^ a b c "CAPRIC ACID". AroKor Holdings Inc. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  9. ^ "capri-, capr- +". Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  10. ^ David J. Anneken, Sabine Both, Ralf Christoph, Georg Fieg, Udo Steinberner, Alfred Westfechtel "Fatty Acids" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 2006, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a10_245.pub2
  11. ^ John McMurry (2008). Organic Chemistry 7th edition. Thompson - Brooks/Cole.  Page 624