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Isoamyl Alcohol

Isoamyl alcohol is one of the flavour and fragrance chemicals produced by Chemoxy. You can read the full list of chemical products here. Isoamyl alcohol is a speciality solvent often noted for its distinctive odour – which smells like pear drops. Its chemical structure is illustrated below:

iso-amyl alcohol

What is Isoamyl Alcohol?

Isoamyl alcohol is a speciality solvent that finds extensive use for flavours and fragrances and is used in the production of many synthetic flavours. Its relatively low eco-tox profile finds it use growing in other areas.

Product Identification

Product Name Isoamyl Alcohol
Empirical Formula C5H12O
CAS Number 123-51-3
Synonyms 3-Methy-1-butanol, Isopentyl alcohol
Physical State Colourless liquid
Odour Pear drops, ester
Viscosity 7.2mPas (at 21°C)
Solubility in water 28g/L
Boiling Point 131-132°C


Isoamyl alcohol is used as a solvent for the preparation of synthetic fruit flavours, such as apricot, banana, cheery, greengage, malt, orange, plum and whiskey flavours, and is a raw material in the production of synthetic banana oil. It is one of the components of the aroma of the black truffle. It is also used for estimation of fat in milk and milk products.

It is the main ingredient of Kovac’s Reagent used for the bacterial diagnostic Indole Test.

Its blend of properties makes it suitable for use as a foam suppressant, affecting the surface tension of micro-emulsions and causing foam breaking.

As a solvent, it is finding increasing use in a wide number of industrial applications. In solvency power, it falls between common hydrocarbon solvents and lower molecular weight ketones. Paraffin wax is soluble in hot isoamyl alcohol.

In formulation, some high molecular weight esters and polar plastics incorporate Isoamyl alcohol-based systems e.g. cellulose esters. Shellac and urea formaldehyde.

It is a diluent in some printing inks, lacquers and gums.

In pharmaceuticals, it is the initial raw material for a number of drug preparations such as Barbamil, Validol, Corvalol and Isoamyl nitrite.

A derivative of Isoamyl alcohol, the p-methoxycinnamate is used as a UV absorber in some cosmetic formulations, and the product itself finds application as a cosmetic flavouring and in perfume.

If you are interested in isoamyl alcohol you may also like to visit the Isoamyl acetate page. Please feel free to contact the experts at Chemoxy if you have a question about the properties and applications of Isoamyl alcohol.

Click here to view the Isoamyl Alcohol Technical Data Sheet.