Linolenic 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. Linolenic acid is one component that makes an oil a 'Drying oil'. The three double bonds in linolenic acid readily oxidize in air to produce a hardened, insoluble film.

Synonyms and Related Terms

9, 12, 15-octadecatrienoic acid; ácido linolénico (Esp.); acido linolenico (It); cis,cis,cis-6,9,12 octatrienoic acid


  • Combustible.
  • Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble inorganic solvents. Insoluble in water.

Composition C17H29COOH
CAS 463-40-1
Melting Point -11 C
Density 0.9140 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 278.42
Boiling Point 230-232 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

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