Hydroxyl value (Redirected from Hydroxyl number)

In analytical chemistry, the hydroxyl value is defined as the number of milligrams of potassium hydroxide required to neutralize the acetic acid taken up on acetylation of one gram of a chemical substance that contains free hydroxyl groups. Hydroxyl value is a measure of the content of free hydroxyl groups in a chemical substance, usually expressed in units of the mass of potassium hydroxide (KOH) in milligrams equivalent to the hydroxyl content of one gram of the chemical substance. The analytical method used to determine hydroxyl value traditionally involves acetylation of the free hydroxyl groups of the substance with acetic anhydride in pyridine solvent. After completion of the reaction, water is added, and the remaining unreacted acetic anhydride is converted to acetic acid and measured by titration with potassium hydroxide.

The hydroxyl value can be calculated using the following equation. Note that a chemical substance may also have a measurable acid value affecting the measured end point of the titration. The acid value (AV) of the substance, determined in a separate experiment, enters into this equation as a correction factor in the calculation of the hydroxyl value (HV):

Where HV is the hydroxyl value; VB is the amount (ml) potassium hydroxide solution required for the titration of the blank; Vacet is the amount (ml) of potassium hydroxide solution required for the titration of the acetylated sample; Wacet is the weight of sample (in grams) used for acetylation; N is the normality of the titrant; 56.1 is the molecular weight of potassium hydroxide; AV is a separately determined acid value of the chemical substance.

The content of free hydroxyl groups in a substance can also be determined by methods other than acetylation.[1] Determinations of hydroxyl content by other methods may instead be expressed as a weight percentage (wt. %) of hydroxyl groups in units of the mass of hydroxide functional groups in grams per 100 grams of substance. The conversion between hydroxyl value and other hydroxyl content measurements is obtained by multiplying the hydroxyl value by the factor 17/560.[2] The chemical substance may be a fat, oil, natural or synthetic ester, or other polyol.[3]

ASTM D 1957 [4] and ASTM E222-10 [5] describe several versions of this method of determining hydroxyl value.

Uses and value

The value is important because it helps determine the Stoichiometry of a system for example in polyurethanes [6]. The value may also be used to calculate equivalent weight and if the functionality is known, the molecular weight also. [7]


  1. ^ Moghimi, Abolghasem; Omrani, Ismail; Nabid, Mohammad Reza; Mahmoodi, Mehrdad (2013). "Quantification of hydroxyl group in polymers containing trace water by 19F NMR spectroscopy". European Polymer Journal. 49: 228–234. doi:10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2012.09.019.
  2. ^ "Recommended methods for the analysis of alkyd resins" (PDF). International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Applied Chemistry Division, Organic Coatings Section, Subcommittee on Analytical Methods, 1973 33(2) pp. 418-421.
  3. ^ "Determination of hydroxyl value". WHO Pharmacopœia Library. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  4. ^ "ASTM D1957-86(2001) Standard Test Method for Hydroxyl Value of Fatty Oils and Acids (Withdrawn 2007)". ASTM International. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  5. ^ "ASTM E222-10, Standard Test Methods for Hydroxyl Groups Using Acetic Anhydride Acetylation".
  6. ^ "PMA :: Section 5 - Common Urethane Calculations". www.pmahome.org. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  7. ^ "Dow Answer Center". dowac.custhelp.com. Retrieved 2018-08-06.

See also

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