Caffeine is a chemical compound that is a central nervous system stimulant. It belongs to the methylxanthine class. It is one of the most widely used psychoactive drugs. It is legally available all around the world. It can be obtained from seeds, fruits, nuts, or leaves of a number of plants that are native to continents of Africa, East Asia and South America. It is widely used to improve cognitive function i.e. awareness and decrease or remove drowsiness or sleepiness. The most simple example of a caffeine containing drink is coffee which people usually drink to work and become aware especially when they are feeling sleepy. Caffeine IUPAC name is 1,3,7-Trimethylpurine-2,6-dione. The caffeine chemical formula is C8H10N4O2.
Properties of Caffeine
Caffeine is a white crystalline substance. It is an odourless compound and is generally available as white needles or in powder form. It is a methylxanthine alkaloid which is clearly visible from the caffeine structural formula. It is related chemically to adenine and guanine bases as it is a purine which you can see in the caffeine chemical structure. The caffeine chemical structure showing the arrangement of the elements involved in the chemical makeup of caffeine given by the caffeine molecular formula (which is same as the caffeine chemical formula) is:
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Some of the other common physical properties that is dependent on the caffeine chemical structure and chemical molecular formula include:
Caffeine molecular mass is 194.194 g/mol which can be easily calculated from the molecular formula caffeine is known to have.
The density of caffeine in solid form is 1.23 g/cm3.
The melting point of caffeine is 227℃ - 228℃ in anhydrous form and 234℃ - 235℃ in monohydrate form.
It is soluble in water and other components such as milk, etc.
Caffeine is known to have both positive and negative health effects. It is known to treat and prevent premature infant breathing disorders. It can provide a modest and protective effect against few terminal diseases like Parkinson's disease. Caffeine citrate is listed on the WHO Model list of essential medications. Very few people show any signs of sleep deprivation due to the consumption of caffeine. It is widely accepted and held knowledge that it can cause a mild drug dependence but is always in control. The withdrawal symptoms include sleepiness, headache and irritability. Pregnant women are recommended to limit their caffeine intake to 1- 2 cups of coffee each day. Along with the central nervous system it is known to stimulate some portions of the autonomic nervous system as well.
One point to note is that caffeine is a naturally occurring and available substance. It is generally extracted from plants through a special procedure. Even industrial production involves the extraction of caffeine from plants. Hence, there is no chemical equation for caffeine industrial production.