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Isoamyl alcohol[1]
Isoamyl alcohol.svg
CAS number 123-51-3 YesY
PubChem 31260
ChemSpider 29000 YesY
DrugBank DB02296
KEGG C07328 YesY
ChEBI CHEBI:15837 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C5H12O
Molar mass 88.148 g/mol
Appearance Clear, colorless liquid
Density 0.8104 g/cm3 at 20 °C
Melting point −117.2 °C (−179.0 °F; 156.0 K)
Boiling point 131.1 °C (268.0 °F; 404.2 K)
Solubility in water 28 g/L
Solubility very soluble in acetone, diethyl ether, ethanol
Viscosity 3.692 mPa·s
heat capacity
2.382 J·g-1·K-1
Std enthalpy of
-356.4 kJ·mol-1 (liquid)
-300.7 kJ·mol-1 (gas)
Flash point 43 °C (109 °F; 316 K)
Explosive limits 1.2 – 9%
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 YesY (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Infobox references

Isoamyl alcohol (also known as isopentyl alcohol) is a clear, colorless alcohol with the formula (CH3)2CHCH2CH2OH. It is one of several isomers of amyl alcohol. It is a main ingredient in the production of banana oil, an ester found in nature and also produced as a flavouring in industry. It's also the main ingredient of Kovac's reagent, used for the bacterial diagnostic indole test.

It is also used as an antifoaming agent in the Chloroform:Isomyl Alcohol reagent.[2]

Isoamyl alcohol is used in a Phenol–chloroform extraction mixed with the chloroform to further inhibit RNase activity and prevent solubility of RNAs with long tracts of poly-adenine.[3]

It is one of the components of the aroma of Tuber melanosporum, the black truffle. It has been identified as a chemical in the pheromone used by hornets to attract other members of the hive to attack.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Lide, David R., ed. (1998). Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (87 ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. pp. 3–374, 5–42, 6–188, 8–102, 15–22. ISBN 0-8493-0487-3. 
  2. ^ Zumbo, P. "Phenol-chloroform Extraction". WEILL CORNELL MEDICAL COLLEGE P. ZUMBO LABORATORY OF CHRISTOPHER E. MASON, PH.D. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Green, Michael; Sambrook, Joseph. "Purification of Nucleic Acids: Extraction with Phenol-Chloroform". Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. ISBN 1936113422. 

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1 news items

Ars Technica

Ars Technica
Sat, 05 Jul 2014 05:00:00 -0700

... the samples "were thoroughly cleaned to remove surface contamination, ground into a buffer solution in a glass homogenizer then incubated for 2 h at 56ºC in a solution containing proteinase K before extraction with phenol/chloroform/isoamyl alcohol.

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