Octanol need to be a great mimic for the lengthy hydrocarbon chains v a polar headgroup uncovered in membranes.

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From: comprehensive Medicinal Chemistry II, 2007

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Ismail Tosun, in The Thermodynamics that Phase and also Reaction Equilibria, 2013

11.5.1 Octanol-Water Partition Coefficient


Octanol CH3(CH2)7OH and also water are partially immiscible and also the circulation of one organic compound i between these two phases is known as the octanol-water partition coefficient, Kiow, i.e.


Since Kiow values may range from 10-4 to 108 (encompassing 12 assignment of magnitude), it is generally reported as logKiow. Octanol-water partition coefficients of miscellaneous substances are provided in Table 11.1.


SubstanceChemical formulalogKow
MethanolCH3OH-0.77
ChloroformCHCl31.97
BenzeneC6H62.13
1,1,2,2-TetrachloroethaneC2H2Cl42.39
1,1,1-TrichloroethaneCH3CCl32.49
NaphthaleneC10H83.29
HexachlorobenzeneC6Cl66.18

aCompiled from US nationwide Library that Medicine, Hazardous building materials Data Bank (HSDB), URL: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov. See also A Databank of evaluate Octanol-Water Partition Coefficients (LOGKOW), URL: http://logkow.cisti.nrc.ca/logkow/index.jsp.

Cells are largely made of lipids and also they are usually modeled together a lipid double layer model, with a long hydrophobic (water disliking) chain and also a polar hydrophilic (water liking) end. The reason for selecting n-octanol is the reality that that exhibits both a hydrophobic and also a hydrophilic character, and its carbon/oxygen proportion is similar to that of lipids. In other words, n-octanol mimics the structure and also properties of cells and organisms.

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Since octanol-water partition coefficient quantifies how a substance distributes itself in between lipid and also water, it is broadly used to define lipophilic (lipid liking) and hydrophilic nature of a particular substance. In that respect, it is just one of the vital physical/chemical properties, such together vapor pressure and solubility in water, provided to evaluate the influence of farming and commercial chemicals top top the environment. For example, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have actually low solubilities in water and high octanol-water partition coefficients. If PCBs space accidentally released right into the lake, climate they are most probably discovered in higher concentrations in the sediment layer.