Wool Alcohols

Synonyms: Alcoholes adipis lanae; Alcoholes de lana; Alcoholes de lanolina; Alcoholia Lanae; Alcolanum; Alcools de graisse de laine; Alkoholy tuku z ovčí vlny; Gyapjúviaszalkoholok; Lanalcolum; Lanolin Alcohols; Ullfettalkoholer; Villa-alkoholit; Vilnu riebalu alkoholiai; Wollwachsalkohole; Wool Wax Alcohols.
Cyrillic synonym: Спирты Шерстяного Жира.

💊 Chemical information

CAS — 8027-33-6.


In Eur.. Also in USNF.

Ph. Eur. 6.2

(Wool Alcohols). A mixture of sterols and higher aliphatic alcohols obtained from wool fat and containing not less than 30.0% of cholesterol. It may contain not more than 200 ppm of butylated hydroxytoluene. A pale yellow to brownish-yellow, brittle mass becoming plastic on heating. M.p. not lower than 58°. Practically insoluble in water; slightly soluble in alcohol (90%); soluble in boiling dehydrated alcohol, and in dichloromethane. Store in well-filled containers. Protect from light.


(Lanolin Alcohols). A mixture of sterols, aliphatic alcohols, and triterpenoid alcohols obtained by the hydrolysis of wool fat. It may contain not more than 0.1% of a suitable antoxidant. It is a hard, waxy amber solid with a characteristic odour. M.p. not below 56°. Insoluble in water; slightly soluble in alcohol; freely soluble in chloroform, in ether, and in petroleum spirit. Store at a temperature not exceeding 25°. Protect from light.


Wool alcohols is incompatible with coal tar, ichthammol, resorcinol, and phenol.

💊 Profile

Wool alcohols is an emulsifying agent and emulsion stabiliser used in the preparation of water-in-oil creams and ointments. It increases the water absorbing capacity of hydrocarbon mixtures; the addition of 5% of wool alcohols permits a threefold increase in the amount of water that can be incorporated in soft paraffin and such emulsions are not ‘cracked’ by the addition of weak acids. It has an emollient action on the skin and is used in preparations for dry skin and dry eyes. Derivatives of wool alcohols with similar uses include acetylated wool alcohols and ethoxylated wool alcohols. Wool alcohols may cause hypersensitivity (but see also under Wool Fat, below).

💊 Preparations

BP 2008: Wool Alcohols Ointment. Proprietary PreparationsMulti-ingredient: Arg.: Macoderm; Canad.: Refresh Lacri-Lube; Fin.: Lacri-Lube; Ger.: Coliquifilm; Irl.: Oilatum Emollient; Israel: Adinol; Ital.: Lacrilube; NZ: Lacrilube; Switz.: Coliquifilm; UK: Ashbourne Emollient Medicinal Bath Oil†; Dermalo; Lacri-Lube; Oilatum Emollient; USA: Hydrocerin; Refresh PM.
Published November 23, 2018.