| IUPAC name
| Other names
|Molar mass||156.27 g/mol|
|Density||0.890 g/cm3 (racemic or (−)-isomer)|
|Melting point|| 36–38 °C (97–100 °F; 309–311 K) racemic|
42–45°C, (-)-isomer, α crystalline form
|Boiling point||212 °C (414 °F; 485 K)|
|1.35799 g/100 ml (at 25 °C)|
|Solubility|| Soluble in glacial acetic acid, chloroform, diethyl ether, anhydrous ethanol, hexane, petroleum ether|
Slightly soluble in methanol
|Solubility in methanol||0.1 g/100 ml|
|Vapor pressure||7.67x10-3 mmHg at 25 °C|
|Safety data sheet||ScienceLab|
|Flash point||93 °C|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Menthol is an organic compound, found in various plants, such as peppermint, widely used in medicine and in food industry. Menthol is available as several isomers, with the (−)-menthol enantiomer form being the most common form in nature.
Menthol is a colorless, waxy crystalline solid at room temperature, with a strong pleasant smell. It is slightly soluble in water, but more so in organic solvents. There are many different values for the water solubility in literature, mostly due to the different racemic composition, as well as traces of other organic contaminants. Is is also soluble in glacial acetic acid, chloroform, diethyl ether, anhydrous ethanol, methanol (100 mg/ml), petroleum ether.
Menthol is sold by various chemical suppliers, and is available either as racemic mixture or as individual isomers.
Menthol is also sold in various pharmacies as an alcoholic solution, as a weak local anesthetic and counterirritant.
Menthol can be extracted form various plants, such as peppermint, though you will need a large amount of plant material to obtain useful quantities of menthol.
Synthesizing menthol is a long and costly process, and you're better off extracting it from peppermint.
- Make beautiful large crystals
- Make an air freshener
- Make sodium metal
Menthol has low toxicity when inhaled, though it's best to avoid consuming large quantities of it.
Menthol should be stored in closed bottles, at temperatures lower than 35-40 °C. It can also be stored in the fridge.
Menthol has low toxicity and can be poured down the drain, dumped in trash or poured in the soil.
- Ajisaka; Hara; Mikuni; Hashimoto; Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry; vol. 64; nb. 4; (2000); p. 731 - 734
- The Chemistry of essential oils and perfumes vol I, by Ernest J. Parry, 1921
- The Chemistry of essential oils and perfumes vol II, by Ernest J. Parry, 1922