Cyclohexane: Hazards & Properties

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson goes over a compound that can cause you pain or relieve your pain. It's found in vegetables, and it helps make nylon. It's cyclohexane. Find out its interesting properties and hazards in this lesson.


Your mother has probably told you countless times to eat your vegetables. Did you? Do you? A mother is almost always right, and if she told you to eat some kohlrabi for dinner she was trying to do you a favor even if you didn't like it. Kohlrabi, also known as German turnip, is a type of vegetable that contains a compound known as cyclohexane, a chemical substance whose structure is represented by a hexagon. Remember that by spotting the 'hex' found in 'hex'agon and cyclo'hex'ane.

Anyways, let's go over this compound's properties and hazards in this lesson.


So why was your mother trying to do you a favor? Well, cyclohexane has some interesting properties. It has been shown to have antibiotic effects. In other words, it has the ability to fight off potentially dangerous bacteria.

Cyclohexane has also been shown to be a beta-oxidant. Don't get this confused with an antioxidant. An antioxidant helps to scavenge and neutralize mainly dangerous free radicals that damage the molecules that make up your body. Something that is a beta-oxidant helps you 'burn' more fat.

Cyclohexane also has some anti-nociceptive properties. In other words, it has anti-pain ('noci-') perception ('-ceptive') properties. In short, it has some ability to relieve pain. So, your mother was trying to make you feel better.

Not as interesting to most, but still important, cyclohexane exhibits the following properties as well:

  • It is a liquid at room temperature.
  • It is clear and colorless.
  • It has a sweet, chloroform or petroleum-like smell to it.
  • It melts at 6.47 degrees Celsius.
  • It boils at 80.7 degrees Celsius at pressures of 760 mm of mercury. In other words, at pressures found at sea level.


That being said, most cyclohexane isn't used to relieve your pain, help you burn fat, or fight off bacteria. The main use of cyclohexane lies in the production of nylon. And it's probably best you avoid handling a concentrated and pure form of cyclohexane anyways.

Firstly, it's highly flammable. So, try not to play around with it near flames or sparks. Secondly, its vapors can be potentially explosive. So it may not only kill bacteria but pretty much anyone in the room. It has anti-people properties in that case, no? Actually, it's so hazardous that even runoff of it into a sewer can create a fire or explosion hazard.

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