Palmitic acid (hexadecanoic acid) (C₁₅H₃₁COOH)

Palmitic acid (hexadecanoic acid) (C₁₅H₃₁COOH)

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



palmitic acid, hexadecanoic acid, carboxylic acid, fatty acid, saturated, fat, oil, soap, palmitates, palm oil, organic chemistry, chemistry

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Palmitic acid, hexadecanoic acid C₁₅H₃₁COOH


Molar mass: 256.43 g/mol

Melting point: 63 °C (145.4 °F)

Boiling Point: 350 °C (662 °F)

Density: 0.8527 g/cm³ (0.0308 lb/in³)

Heat of combustion: -9,977.9 kJ/mol


Palmitic acid is a saturated fatty acid. It is a white, flammable solid substance with the hardness of wax. It does not dissolve in water, but dissolves well in alcohol and other non-polar solvents. Its sodium- and potassium salts are soaps.

Occurrence and production

The glycerol ester of palmitic acid is present in most natural fats and oils.


It is used in the manufacture of palmitates, lubricating oils, soaps and impregating agents.

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

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

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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