Palmitic Acid

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Related to hexadecanoic acid: octadecanoic acid, oleic acid, heptadecanoic acid

palmitic acid

[päl′mid·ik ′as·əd]
(organic chemistry)
C15H31COOH A fatty acid; white crystals, soluble in alcohol and ether, insoluble in water; melts at 63.4°C, boils at 271.5°C (100 mmHg); derived from spermaceti; used to make metallic palmitates and in soaps, waterproofing, and lubricating oils.

Palmitic Acid


CH3(CH2)14COOH, a monobasic saturated carboxylic acid; colorless crystals. Melting point, 63.1°C; boiling point, 351.5°C. Palmitic acid is insoluble in water and moderately soluble in alcohol, benzene, and acetone. Along with stearic acid, it is the most widely distributed saturated fatty acid in nature, occurring as an ester of glycerol in nearly all the known natural fats. The average palmitic acid glyceride content in palm oil is 32–40 percent; in butter, 25 percent; in bean oil, 6.5 percent; and in pork fat, 30 percent. Esters of palmitic acid and higher alcohols form waxes; for example, the cetyl ester of palmitic acid is the principal constituent of spermaceti wax, and the myricyl ester is the main component of beeswax. Coenzyme A is involved in the biosynthesis and metabolism of palmitic acid.

Palmitic acid is usually isolated by rectification or fractional recrystallization from acid mixtures that are obtained through the saponification of fats. Certain palmitic acid esters are used in the manufacture of detergents and cosmetics. Palmitic acid salts, along with the salts of certain other carboxylic acids, are classified as detergents. In combination with stearic acid, palmitic acid is a constituent of stearin.


References in periodicals archive ?
Metabolite profiling using GC-MS enabled the identification of benzoic acid, methyl ester; hexadecanoic acid, methyl ester; 9,12-octadecadienoic acid (Z,Z)-, methyl ester and 9-octadecenoic acid (Z)-, methyl ester which may play an important role in the oil palm defense system and potentially be used as biomarkers for evaluating oil palm progenies for the development of resistance variety to BSR in the future.
79 min were identified as dodecanoic acid (C12:0), tetradecanoic acid (C14:0) and hexadecanoic acid (C16:0) respectively.
5% whereas tetradecanoic acid (C14:0), 3-hydroxy tetradecanoic acid (3-OH C14:0) and hexadecanoic acid constituted 12.
These peaks were confirmed as tetradecanoic acid (C14:0) and hexadecanoic acid (C16:0) methyl esters.