Palmitic acid

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A white crystalline waxy material. Palmitic acid is a saturated fatty acid that occurs naturally in many animal fats and vegetable oils. It is found in Linseed oil, Palm oil, Japan wax, and vegetable tallow.

Synonyms and Related Terms

hexadecanoic acid; hexadecylic acid; cetylic acid; 1-pentadecanecarboxylic acid



Chemical structure

Palmitic acid.jpg


  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Insoluble in water. Slightly soluble in alcohol, ligroin.

Soluble in hot alcohol, ether, propyl alcohol, chloroform.

Composition C15H31COOH
CAS 57-10-3
Melting Point 63-64 C
Density 0.853 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt.=256.42
Boiling Point 215 C

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 572
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: p. 6860
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998