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Myristyl alcohol, also known as Tetradecanol, is a long-chain fatty alcohol with a chemical formula C14H30O. The 14-carbon atom chain is connected to a single hydroxide molecule. It is a white crystalline powder compound at room temperature with a waxy odor. The chemical is naturally found in spermaceti wax and sperm oil. Myristyl alcohol is highly flammable and should be separated from sources of heat.
Myristyl acid is sourced from palm kernel oil and distillation is required to purify the product. On an industrial scale, myristyl alcohol is manufactured by the reduction of esters. Ester is reduced by undergoing hydride reduction with lithium aluminum hydride as a reducing agent. The ester is broken down into two alcohol constituents. On the other hand, the fractionation of fatty alcohols (C-12 - C-14) is conducted to purify the extract of myristyl alcohol.
The compound is mostly used in cosmetic applications as an emollient and skincare moisturizer. The water-retaining properties allow the ability of myristyl alcohol to keep the skin moisturized. Furthermore, the compound is classified as an emulsifier. The texture and creaminess of cosmetic products are maintained by the emulsifying properties of myristyl alcohol.
In the pharmaceutical industry, myristyl alcohol is utilized in the pharmaceutical application as a temperature regulated drug release system. The penetrative enhancing properties of the compound is used for oral, topical, and parental pharmaceutical products