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IAQUK Resources - Nonanal

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Nonanal, also called N-Nonyl Aldehyde, Nonoic Aldehyde, Pelargonaldehyde, 1-Nonyl Aldehyde, Pergonal  is an alkyl aldehyde.

 

It has a strong fruity or floral odour and is used in flavors and perfume. It is also produced by the human body and acts as an attractant to mosquitoes who detect smells with the olfactory receptor neurons of their antennae. Nonanal may cause irritation to the eyes and respiratory tract.  In severe cases it may produce an allergic hypersensitivity asthma with bronchospasm (constriction of the muscles in the walls of the bronchioles) and wheezing with chronic exposure.


Aldehydes are common in organic chemistry.   Aldehydes have properties that are diverse and that depend on the remainder of the molecule. Smaller Aldehydes are more soluble in water, Formaldehyde and Acetaldehyde completely so. The volatile Aldehydes have pungent odors. Aldehydes degrade in air via the process of oxidation, hence why many fragrances are Aldehydes.

 

The odours of Aliphatic Aldehydes vary strongly with the size and shape of the molecules. Short-chain Aldehydes have rather sharp and unpleasant odours (just think of Ethanal, with its fruity and pungent smell); these become milder as the carbon chain lengthens.

 

From C8-C12, the odours have a waxy-floral note, the odours becoming faint by C14.

Aldehyde

Number

of carbons, n

Odour characteristics

Nonanal

9

Fatty - waxy, floral note

Decanal

10

Fatty - orange

Undecanal

11

Green, fatty, floral-orange

Dodecanal

12

Fatty, floral-orange

Tridecanal

13

Intensive, fatty with fresh citrus note

Tetradecanal

14

Faint, fatty with citrus and ambergris-like note

2-methyloctanal

8

Orange-floral, less fatty than nonanal

2-methylnonanal

9

Green, fatty-floral

2-methylnonanal

10

Fresh, orange

2-methylundecanal

11

Herbaceous-orange-ambergris like

2-methyldodecanal

12

Fatty-floral with ambergris note

2-methyltridecanal

13

Pleasant, mild, ambergris-like