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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.

The new ECHA CHEM database has been released by ECHA, and it now contains all REACH registration data. There are more details on the transition of ECHA's published data to ECHA CHEM here.

Diss Factsheets

Physical & Chemical properties

Surface tension

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surface tension
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
key study
2 (reliable with restrictions)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: The study was well documented and meets generally accepted scientific principles, but was not conducted in compliance with GLP.
Principles of method if other than guideline:
Surface tension measurements were made using a drop volume tensiometer. The technique measures the volume of a drop detaching from a capillary with inner radius 1.08mm.
GLP compliance:
Type of method:
other: drop volume tensiometer
Surface tension:
30.21 mN/m
298.15 K
5 284.21 mg/L
Remarks on result:
other: Results were converted to mg/L by the authors of this summary using MW 1-hexanol = 102.18.
A surface tension value of 30.21 mN/m at a concentration of 5284 mg/L was determined in a reliable study conducted according to generally accepted scientific principles.
Executive summary:

A surface tension value of 30.21 mN/m at a concentration of 5284 mg/L was determined in a reliable study conducted according to generally accepted scientific principles.

Description of key information

The surface tension of hexan-1-ol at ca. 90% saturated aqueous solution is 30.21 mN/m based on a reliable and well-reported published study. n-Aliphatic alcohols consist of a lipophilic alkyl chain combined with a hydroxyl head group which is mildly hydrophilic. A preliminary assessment by calculated Hydrophilic Lipophilic Balance suggests the possibility to act as a water-in-oil emulsifier.  

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Surface tension:

Additional information

The main purpose of determining surface tension is to assess whether a substance is a surfactant and not able to have a log Kow done. The close structural analogue n-octanol is regularly used with water in the classic two-phase partitioning experiment (e.g. OECD Guideline 107). Octanol and all alcohols do phase separate which suggests that emulsification is not so strong as to create issues with measurement of partitioning or other fate or effects studies.

The reported measurement, for a highly pure sample, is at ca. 90% aqueous solution based on the limit of solubility of the highly pure alcohol as reported in the literature.

Discussion of trends in the Category of C6-24 linear and essentially-linear aliphatic alcohols:

Chemical derivatives of many of the alcohols in this group are products which have commercial uses relating to their properties as surface active agents. The alcohols themselves are not surface active. Whilst the preliminary assessment by Hydrophilic Lipophilic Balance (HLB) suggests that the shortest chain members of the Category (C6 - C8) could be water/oil emulsifiers, this should not be over-interpreted. They are co-surfactants used to modify the properties of other surfactants.

Above C8 there is no alert based on HLB for any surface tension lowering property.