Linoleic acid

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An unsaturated fatty acid (C18) that is a component of many vegetable oils such as linseed, soybean, corn, sunflower, safflower, poppy seed, and perilla. Linoleic acid is one component that makes an oil a 'Drying oil'. The two double bonds in linoleic acid readily oxidize in air to produce a hardened, insoluble film. Pure linoleic acid added to paints, coatings, lacquers, and vitamins (as a food supplement).

Synonyms and Related Terms

cis-9, cis12-octadienoic acid; ácido linoleico (Esp.); acide linoléïque (Fr.); acido linoleico (It); linolic acid


  • Combustible.
  • Reacts with oxygen to solidify.
  • Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in ethanol or ether. Insoluble in water.

Composition C17H31COOH
CAS 60-33-3
Melting Point -5 C
Density 0.905 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 280.44
Boiling Point 228 C

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 313
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 5529
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998