Oleic acid (cis-octadec-9-enoic acid) (C₁₇H₃₃COOH)

Oleic acid (cis-octadec-9-enoic acid) (C₁₇H₃₃COOH)

An unsaturated monocarboxylic acid. The molecule contains double bond in cis orientation.



oleic acid, carboxylic acid, fatty acid, unsaturated, carboxyl group, vegetable oils, animal fats, oleates, addition, double bond, organic chemistry, chemistry

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Oleic acid C₁₇H₃₃COOH


Molar mass: 282.47 g/mol

Melting Point: 13.4 °C (56.12 °F)

Boiling point: 360 °C (680 °F)

Density: 0.8935 g/cm³ (0.0323 lb/in³)


Oleic acid is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that does not dissolve in water, only in alcohol and ether. When exposed to air, it undergoes autoxidation and turns into a yellow or brown acidic substance. Stearic acid can be produced when it undergoes hydrogenation. It participates in additive reactions characteristic of alkenes; it causes bromine water to lose its color. Its salts are called oleates.

Occurrence and production

Oleic acid occurs in vegetable fats and animal fats, although in smaller quantities. Most vegetable fats are liquid at room temperature, so they are called oils.

In a fat molecule, a glycerol molecule is linked to three fatty acid molecules. When several of these fatty acid molecules are unsaturated, such as oleic acid, the fat is less viscous. This is why vegetable oils are liquid at room temperature. It is produced through the hydrolitic breakdown of fats.


Oleic acid is used for waterproof lining in fabrics and in the production of creams, soaps, cleaning agents and cosmetic products.

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Palmitic acid (hexadecanoic acid) (C₁₅H₃₁COOH)

A white, waxy substance, a carboxylic acid of high carbon number.

Stearic acid (octadecanoic acid) (C₁₇H₃₅COOH)

Solid, white substance, a constituent of vegetable oils and animal fats.


Fatty acid molecules consist of a polar head and a non-polar tail, therefore they are suitable for removing fat stains.

Fat molecule

Three saturated fatty acid molecules linked to a glycerol molecule.

Oil molecule

Triglycerides containing unsaturated fatty acids are liquid at room temperature.

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