Alcohol Amylicum. Amyl Alcohol.


C5H12O = 88.096.
Synonym.—Amylic Alcohol.

Amyl alcohol, so called, is a mixture of amyl and iso-amyl alcohols (C5H11OH), with small quantities of other alcohols, obtained by purifying commercial fusel oil. It occurs as a colourless liquid with a characteristic odour. Specific gravity, 0.814 to 0.816. A clear mixture should be formed on adding 10 mils of concentrated hydrochloric acid to 10 mils of amyl alcohol, and the addition of 1.5 mils of water to the mixture should produce a permanent turbidity. Amyl alcohol should be free from furfural. The British Pharmacopoeia allows the use of amyl alcohol distilling between 125° and 142°, but this is not very satisfactory for all analytical purposes, and it is sometimes better to employ samples that distil between 128° and 132°.

Action and Uses.—Amyl alcohol has an action very similar to that of ethyl alcohol, but is a more pronounced local irritant. In chronic alcoholic poisoning the deleterious effects are attributed more to amyl alcohol than to ethyl alcohol, but this is not based on satisfactory evidence; the importance of amyl alcohol depends on the fact that small quantities are present in most forms of spirit, especially when these are "raw," or freshly distilled.


Alcohol Amylicum Benzolatum, B.P.—BENZOLATED AMYLIC ALCOHOL.
Amyl alcohol, 25; benzol, 75. Mix, allow to stand, and decant from any separated water. This mixture is used as a solvent.

The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.