| IUPAC name
| Systematic IUPAC name
| Other names
Hercules P 6
|Appearance||White crystalline solid|
|Melting point||260.5 °C (500.9 °F; 533.6 K)|
|Boiling point||276 °C (529 °F; 549 K)|
|5.6 g/100 mL (15 °C)|
|Solubility|| Soluble in ethanol, ethylene glycol, formamide, glycerol, isopropanol, methanol|
Insoluble in acetone, benzene, CCl4, diethyl ether, paraffin, toluene
|Vapor pressure||0.00000008 mmHg (20°C)|
|Safety data sheet||Sigma-Aldrich|
|Flash point||200.1 °C (392.18 °F; 473.25 K)|
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LD50 (Median dose)
|10,000 mg/kg (rat, oral)|
LC50 (Median concentration)
|50,000 mg/L (freshwater fish, 48 h)|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Pentaerythritol (sometimes shortened to PE) is an organic compound with the formula C5H12O4, a polyol with the neopentane backbone. It has no relation to erythritol.
Pentaerythritol can react with with various halogenated organic compounds to yield many ethers or esters. It can also react with benzaldehyde.
PE is a white crystalline solid, with no smell (if pure). It has a density of 1.396 g/cm3. PE is slightly soluble in water (5.6 g/100 ml at 15 °C). It is also soluble in ethanol, ethylene glycol, formamide, glycerol, methanol, but insoluble in aprotic organic solvents such as acetone, benzene, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, diethyl ether, paraffin.
Pentaerythritol is sold by chemical suppliers. Some products may contain traces of borax as additive.
Certain cosmetics contain a small amount of PE or its derivates.
Pentaerythritol can be made by reacting formaldehyde with acetaldehyde, in the presence of a strong base, such as sodium hydroxide, though calcium hydroxide can also be used. A full recipe can be found here.
Acetaldehyde can be replaced with lactonitrile.
- Make pentaerythritol tetraacrylate
- Make Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN)
- Make blue aluminium
Pentaerythritol is irritant to skin, eyes, nose and mouth. It presents some toxicity if ingested.
Pentaerythritol should be stored in closed bottles, away from any flame source or oxidizer. Just about any clean bottle is suitable.
Pentaerythritol can be safely burned as it releases no toxic byproducts.
- Zhurnal Russkago Fiziko-Khimicheskago Obshchestva (1913), vol. 45, p. 1452
- Chemisches Zentralblatt (1914), vol. 85, nb. I, p. 758