Myristic acid

Myristic acid (IUPAC name: tetradecanoic acid) is a common saturated fatty acid with the molecular formula CH3(CH2)12COOH. Its salts and esters are commonly referred to as myristates or tetradecanoates. It is named after the binomial name for nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), from which it was first isolated in 1841 by Lyon Playfair.[12]

Myristic acid[1]
Preferred IUPAC name
Tetradecanoic acid
Other names
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.008.069
EC Number
  • 208-875-2
RTECS number
  • QH4375000
  • InChI=1S/C14H28O2/c1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14(15)16/h2-13H2,1H3,(H,15,16) N
  • InChI=1/C14H28O2/c1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14(15)16/h2-13H2,1H3,(H,15,16)
Molar mass 228.376 g·mol−1
Appearance colorless or white solid
Density 1.03 g/cm3 (−3 °C)[2]
0.99 g/cm3 (24 °C)[3]
0.8622 g/cm3 (54 °C)[4]
Melting point 54.4 °C (129.9 °F; 327.5 K)[5]
Boiling point 326.2 °C (619.2 °F; 599.3 K) at 760 mmHg
250 °C (482 °F; 523 K)
at 100 mmHg[4]
218.3 °C (424.9 °F; 491.4 K)
at 32 mmHg[3]
13 mg/L (0 °C)
20 mg/L (20 °C)
24 mg/L (30 °C)
33 mg/L (60 °C)[6]
Solubility Soluble in alcohol, acetates, C6H6, haloalkanes, phenyls, nitros[6]
Solubility in acetone 2.75 g/100 g (0 °C)
15.9 g/100 g (20 °C)
42.5 g/100 g (30 °C)
149 g/100 g (40 °C)[6]
Solubility in benzene 6.95 g/100 g (10 °C)
29.2 g/100 g (20 °C)
87.4 g/100 g (30 °C)
1.29 kg/100 g (50 °C)[6]
Solubility in methanol 2.8 g/100 g (0 °C)
17.3 g/100 g (20 °C)
75 g/100 g (30 °C)
2.67 kg/100 g (50 °C)[6]
Solubility in ethyl acetate 3.4 g/100 g (0 °C)
15.3 g/100 g (20 °C)
44.7 g/100 g (30 °C)
1.35 kg/100 g (40 °C)[6]
Solubility in toluene 0.6 g/100 g (−10 °C)
3.2 g/100 g (0 °C)
30.4 g/100 g (20 °C)
1.35 kg/100 g (50 °C)[6]
log P 6.1[4]
Vapor pressure 0.01 kPa (118 °C)
0.27 kPa (160 °C)[7]
1 kPa (186 °C)[4]
-176·10−6 cm3/mol
Thermal conductivity 0.159 W/m·K (70 °C)
0.151 W/m·K (100 °C)
0.138 W/m·K (160 °C)[8]
1.4723 (70 °C)[4]
Viscosity 7.2161 cP (60 °C)
3.2173 cP (100 °C)
0.8525 cP (200 °C)
0.3164 cP (300 °C)[9]
Monoclinic (−3 °C)[2]
a = 31.559 Å, b = 4.9652 Å, c = 9.426 Å[2]
α = 90°, β = 94.432°, γ = 90°
432.01 J/mol·K[4][7]
−833.5 kJ/mol[4][7]
8675.9 kJ/mol[7]
GHS labelling:
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Flash point > 110 °C (230 °F; 383 K)[11]
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
>10 g/kg (rats, oral)[11]
Related compounds
Related compounds
Tridecanoic acid, Pentadecanoic acid
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
N verify (what is YN ?)
Infobox references


Myristica fragrans fruit contains myristic acid

Nutmeg butter has 75% trimyristin, the triglyceride of myristic acid. Besides nutmeg, myristic acid is found in palm kernel oil, coconut oil, butterfat, 8–14% of bovine milk, and 8.6% of breast milk as well as being a minor component of many other animal fats.[5] It is found in spermaceti, the crystallized fraction of oil from the sperm whale. It is also found in the rhizomes of the Iris, including Orris root.[13][14]

Chemical behaviour

Myristic acid acts as a lipid anchor in biomembranes.[15]

Reduction of myristic acid yields myristyl aldehyde and myristyl alcohol.

Health effects

Myristic acid consumption raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.[16][17]


  1. Merck Index, 11th Edition, 6246
  2. Bond, Andrew D. (2003). "On the crystal structures and melting point alternation of the n-alkyl carboxylic acids" (PDF). Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  3. G., Chuah T.; D., Rozanna; A., Salmiah; Y., Thomas Choong S.; M., Sa'ari (2006). "Fatty Acids used as Phase Change Materials (PCMs) for Thermal Energy Storage in Building Material Applications" (PDF). University Putra Malaysia. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  4. Lide, David R., ed. (2009). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (90th ed.). Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. ISBN 978-1-4200-9084-0.
  5. Beare-Rogers, J. L; Dieffenbacher, A; Holm, J. V (2001). "Lexicon of lipid nutrition (IUPAC Technical Report)". Pure and Applied Chemistry. 73 (4): 685–744. doi:10.1351/pac200173040685. S2CID 84492006.
  6. Seidell, Atherton; Linke, William F. (1940). Solubilities of Inorganic and Organic Compounds (3rd ed.). New York: D. Van Nostrand Company. pp. 762–763.
  7. Tetradecanoic acid in Linstrom, Peter J.; Mallard, William G. (eds.); NIST Chemistry WebBook, NIST Standard Reference Database Number 69, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg (MD)
  8. Vargaftik, Natan B.; et al. (1993). Handbook of Thermal Conductivity of Liquids and Gases (illustrated ed.). CRC Press. p. 305. ISBN 978-0-8493-9345-7.
  9. Yaws, Carl L. (2009). Transport Properties of Chemicals and Hydrocarbons. New York: William Andrew Inc. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-8155-2039-9.
  10. Sigma-Aldrich Co., Myristic acid.
  11. "Myristic Acid". AroKor Holdings Inc. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  12. Playfair, Lyon (2009). "XX. On a new fat acid in the butter of nutmegs". Philosophical Magazine. Series 3. 18 (115): 102–113. doi:10.1080/14786444108650255. ISSN 1941-5966.
  13. Council of Europe, August 2007 Natural Sources of Flavourings, Volume 2, p. 103, at Google Books
  14. John Charles Sawer Odorographia a natural history of raw materials and drugs used in the perfume industry intended to serve growers, manufacturers and consumers, p. 108, at Google Books
  15. Cox, David L. Nelson, Michael M. (2005). Lehninger principles of biochemistry (4th ed.). New York: W.H. Freeman. ISBN 978-0716743392.
  16. Mensink, Ronald P. (2016). "Effects of saturated fatty acids on serum lipids and lipoproteins: a systematic review and regression analysis" (PDF). World Health Organization.
  17. Schwingshackl L, Bogensberger B, Benčič A, Knüppel S, Boeing H, Hoffmann G. (2018). "Effects of oils and solid fats on blood lipids: a systematic review and network meta-analysis". J Lipid Res. 59 (9): 1771–1782. doi:10.1194/jlr.P085522. PMID 30006369.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
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