Structure, Characteristics, Production and Applications of Cyclohexanol

Cyclohexanol is an organic substance. Carbon and hydrogen are the constituent elements of all organic compounds. It also contains oxygen due to the presence of an alcohol functional group. (It is a hydroxyl group as well.)

Cyclohexanol is a six-membered cyclic alkane derivative of cyclohexane. The alkane is oxidized in air to produce cyclohexanol. Cobalt is the catalyst used.

There are several names for cyclohexanol, including cyclohexane-1-ol, 1-cyclohexanol, Naxol, hexahydro phenol, cyclohexyl alcohol, hydroxycyclohexane, hydralin, and hexalin.

C6H12O is the chemical formula for cyclohexanol.

Structure of Cyclohexanol

The name cyclohexanol hints at its chemical structure. A closed ring is referred to as a cyclo. Hexa stands for six. The compound contains six carbon atoms. The alkane following hex has single carbon-atom bonds. The alcohol functional group is denoted by the symbol OH.

As a result, the cyclohexanol structure is made up of a closed ring of six carbon atoms connected by only single bonds. As a substitute, there is an alcohol group (hydroxy group).

Five of the carbon atoms will form bonds with two hydrogen atoms, and the sixth will form bonds with one hydrogen and one alcohol functional group.

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Each vertex corresponds to a carbon atom. The single lines connecting the vertices indicate that the carbon atoms are connected by a single bond. 

An alcohol group is attached to the hexagon at one vertex.

Characteristics of Cyclohexanol

Some of the properties of cyclohexanol are as follows:

  1. Cyclohexanol is a colorless deliquescent solid.
  2. Cyclohexanol has a melting point of 25.2°C.
  3. It melts into a viscous, syrupy liquid.
  4. The boiling point of cyclohexanol is 161.8°C.
  5. It smells like camphor.
  6. At 25°C, the solubility of cyclohexanol in water is 37.5 g/L.
  7. It has a specific gravity of 0.96 g/cc.

Production of Cyclohexanol 

Cyclohexane is manufactured on a large scale by reacting benzene with hydrogen.

Preparation of Cyclohexanol 

  1. Cyclohexene is made by hydrogenating benzene in the presence of a catalyst.
  2. Cyclohexanol is made by hydrating cyclohexene in the presence of a catalyst.

Preparation of Cyclohexanol Using Cobalt 

Cyclohexanol is made by oxidizing cyclohexane in air, typically with cobalt catalysts:

C6H11OH = C6H12 + 1/2 O2

This process co-forms cyclohexanone, and the resulting mixture (“KA oil” for ketone-alcohol oil) is the primary feedstock for adipic acid production.

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Applications of Cyclohexanol

Cyclohexanol has numerous applications, the most common of which is as an intermediary in the production of other organic compounds. Cyclohexanol is used in the following situations:

  1. Cyclohexanol has a faint mothball odor and is a colorless thick liquid or sticky solid. It is used to make nylon, lacquers, paints, and varnishes, as well as as a solvent in cleaning and degreasing operations.
  2. It is used in the extraction of oil, the production of other chemicals, and as a catalyst solvent. It also can be found in motor vehicle exhaust.
  3. They have a camphor-like odor and are used in the production of soap, insecticides, germicides, dry cleaning, and plasticizers.
  4. Lacquers, paints, resins, degreasers, spot removers, polymers, copolymers, waxes, crude rubber, and cellulose acetate all use cyclohexanone as a solvent.

Frequently Asked Questions on Cyclohexanol 

Is cyclohexanol soluble in water?

Yes, cyclohexanol is water soluble. At 25 degrees Celsius, its solubility is 37.5 g/L. It results in a weakly acidic solution.

What is the purpose of cyclohexanol?

Cyclohexanol has numerous industrial applications. It is used in the manufacture of paints, varnishes, and lacquers as a plasticizer and stabilizer, as well as in the preparation of nylon.

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Is cyclohexane the same as cyclohexanol?

No, they are not the same compound. Cyclohexane, with the formula C6H12, is a cyclic alkane. Cyclohexanol is classified as a secondary alcohol. The alcohol or hydroxyl group has been substituted for one of the hydrogen atoms in cyclohexane.

Is cyclohexanol considered a primary alcohol?

Cyclohexanol, on the other hand, is not a primary alcohol. Because the carbon atom carrying the alcohol group has bonds with two other carbon atoms, cyclohexanol is classified as a secondary alcohol.

What is the number of carbons in cyclohexanol?

The name cyclohexanol hints at the compound’s structure and composition. Hex is short for six. In its structure, six carbon atoms form a hexagonal ring. Cyclohexanol contains six carbon atoms.

What is the chemical formula for cyclohexanol?

Cyclohexanol is also known by other names. Cyclohexan-1-ol, 1-cyclohexanol, Naxol, hexahydro phenol, cyclohexyl alcohol, hydroxycyclohexane, Hyddralin, and hexalin are all names for it.