Squalane is a hydrocarbon derived by hydrogenation of squalene. In contrast to squalene, due to the complete saturation of squalane, it is not subject to auto-oxidation. This fact, coupled with lower costs associated with squalane, make it desirable in cosmetics manufacturing, where it is used as an emollient and moisturizer. The hydrogenation of squalene to produce squalane was first reported in 1916.
3D model (JSmol)
|Molar mass||422.83 g·mol−1|
|Melting point||−38 °C (−36 °F; 235 K)|
|Boiling point||176 °C (349 °F; 449 K) at 7 Pa|
Refractive index (nD)
Heat capacity (C)
Std enthalpy of
Std enthalpy of
|GHS signal word||WARNING|
|H315, H319, H335|
|Flash point||218 °C (424 °F; 491 K)|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Source and productionEdit
Squalene was traditionally sourced from the livers of sharks, with approximately 3000 required to produce one ton of squalane. Due to environmental concerns, other sources such as olive oil, rice and sugar cane have been commercialized, and as of 2014 have been supplying about 40% of the industry total. In manufacturing, farnesene is produced from fermentation of sugarcane sugars using genetically modified Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strains. Farnesene is then dimerized to isosqualene and then hydrogenated to squalane.
Squalane was introduced as an emollient in the 1950s. While squalane can be found in small quantities in sebaceous secretions (sebum), it is squalene that is most commonly found in nature, most notably in human sebum and the livers of sharks. Squalane has low acute toxicity and is not a significant human skin irritant or sensitizer.
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- Tsujimoto, M. (1916). "A highly unsaturated hydrocarbon in shark liver oil". Ind. Eng. Chem. 8: 889–896. doi:10.1021/i500010a005.
- Ciriminna, Rosaria; Pandarus, Valerica; Béland, François; Pagliaro, Mario (2014). "Catalytic Hydrogenation of Squalene to Squalane". Organic Process Research & Development. 18 (9): 1110–1115. doi:10.1021/op5002337.
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- Allison, Anthony C. (1999). "Squalene and Squalane Emulsions as Adjuvants". Methods. 19 (1): 87–93. doi:10.1006/meth.1999.0832. PMID 10525443.
- "Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Squalane and Squalene". International Journal of Toxicology. 1 (2): 37–56. 1982. doi:10.3109/10915818209013146. Archived from the original on 2009-10-30.
- "Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Squalane and Squalene" (PDF). International Journal of Toxicology. 1 (2): 37–56. 1982. doi:10.3109/10915818209013146.