Cyclohexanol: Structure, Hazards & Physical Properties

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Cyclohexanol may sound like a complicated term, but its structure is actually really easy to decipher from the name itself. This lesson helps you with that and goes over the physical properties and hazards associated with this chemical.


The camphor tree grows throughout China and Japan, although it has now been artificially spread to other parts of the world. This tree is used for timber and to produce camphor oil for various folk remedies. If you've never smelled camphor oil in your life, then you can try and get your hands on cyclohexanol instead since both share a similar smell, although inhaling the latter may be dangerous to your health.

Regardless, cyclohexanol is a chemical compound that's a derivative of cyclohexane. Its structure, associated hazards, and physical properties will be discussed in this lesson.

Structure & Physical Properties

Cyclohexanol's structure isn't too difficult to remember so long as you can break down this term's word part definitions.

  • 'Cyclo-' refers to a structure that has a ring-like shape to it.
  • '-hex-' refers to the root for the number six.
  • '-ol', in this case, implies a hydroxyl group. In other words, an '-OH' is attached to the structure.

So what do you think cyclohexanol looks like then? If you guessed a six-sided ring with a hydroxyl group attached to it, you'd be spot on. Take a look at the image in this lesson showing cyclohexanol's structure. Note the six-sided ring and the hydroxyl group. At each point of the six-sided ring lies a carbon atom. Each carbon atom must be bonded to four atoms in this instance. Unless the carbon atom is bonded to an oxygen or another carbon atom, it's bonded to a hydrogen atom.

cyclohexanol structure

Thus, this structure has a total of six carbon atoms, twelve hydrogen atoms, and one oxygen atom.

To get started with physical properties, we should know the following about cyclohexanol:

  • It has a melting point of 25.93 degrees Celsius.
  • It has a boiling point of 161.84 degrees Celsius.

Cyclohexanol has some other, more interesting, physical properties. Depending on temperature, cyclohexanol can take on different appearances:

  • A sticky solid with a crystal or needle-like shape
  • Or a viscous (syrupy) liquid when near or above its melting point

It can either be colorless or light-yellow in color, and, as you learned in the introduction, it has a camphor-like smell to it.


While cyclohexanol isn't the most dangerous chemical known to man (it's often used in the production of nylon and plastics), it can be toxic if inhaled or ingested. That being said, you shouldn't go around inhaling cyclohexanol if you love the smell of camphor. That's because this can be hazardous to your health!

Cyclohexanol can be harmful if you inhale its vapors. In fact, it can have a narcotic-like effect at high concentrations. Narcotics are medications that dull pain and cause drowsiness. That may not sound all that dangerous, but at high concentrations, they can also lead to respiratory arrest, coma, and death. In other words, if you inhale too much cyclohexanol, you may not enjoy that camphor-like smell for long.

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