What is hexadecanoic acid

Palmitic acid C.15H31COOH

White, greasy platelets
or coarse powder
Animal or vegetable fats and oils,
Metabolic product
molar mass 256.424 g / mol

AGW not specified
density 0.8487 g / cm3   
Melting point +62.49 ° C
boiling point +351 ° C
Water solubility  
Conc. At 20 ° C 0.0072 g / l
Flash point +160 ° C
Ignition point not specified
-disposal G 3
Print a labelGerman designation
Synonyms (German)
English designation
CAS 57-10-3Palmitic acid
Hexadecanoic acid
Palmitic acid
Hexadecanoic acid
Palmitic acid is commercially available as a coarse powder or as white flakes. It is only slightly soluble in water. Instead, it dissolves well in warm ethyl alcohol or in diethyl ether and chloroform. When mixed with water, the palmitic acid floats on the water due to its lower density. Like stearic acid, palmitic acid is a saturated fatty acid because it does not contain a double bond. The name goes back to the palm oil that is extracted from the pulp of the oil palm.

When saponifying with sodium hydroxide solution, sodium palmitate, the sodium salt of palmitic acid, is obtained. Palmitic acid is a building block of the most important triglyceride. When the fat molecule is saponified with caustic soda, soap is obtained that consists of three different fatty acid salts, including sodium palmitate. The aluminum soap of palmitic acid is part of the napalm that was used as an incendiary weapon in the Vietnam War.
It is produced by splitting fat, mainly from palm oil. But it can also be obtained from coconut fat, pork fat or from milk fat. When fat is split, a mixture of stearic acid, palmitic acid and oleic acid is usually obtained.
The "Palmin" available in the grocery store mainly contains coconut fat, which is made up of fatty acids such as palmitic acid. Palmitic acid and its salts are found in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products as the basis for creams, ointments and tablets. It is also used to make sodium palmitate, which is used in soap making. A mixture with stearic acid is called "stearin", this is used together with paraffin as a component in candle wax. The aluminum soap of palmitic acid is part of the incendiary weapon napalm.

The coconut fat is obtained from the pulp of the coconut.