Hydroxyl number in castor oil and stearyl alcohol – Fast, pyridine-free method for pharmaceutical samples

The hydroxyl number (HN) is an important sum parameter for quantifying the presence of hydroxyl groups in chemicals. As a key quality parameter, it is determined in various substances. For pharmaceutical samples, USP chapter <401> and Ph. Eur. Chapter 2.5.3 describe the determination. However these methods either use toxic pyridine and require refluxing or have long reaction times.

In this Application Note, an alternative method according to ASTM E1899 is presented. This method is pyridine-free and does not require refluxing or long reaction times. The determination is performed at room temperature with only a small sample size. The analysis including all preparation steps is performed with a fully automatic OMNIS system. This allows parallel analysis of multiple samples, increasing productivity in the laboratory by 50%.