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n-Butanol is a primary alcohol used in the chemical industry as a solvent and raw material to produce more complex organic compounds. In industrial processes, it is mainly obtained from Propanol, which is first converted to Butanal in a hydroformulation process and then to n-Butanol with the addition of hydrogen. Alternatively, the compound can be made by fermenting the renewable raw materials starch and sugar. As a microbiological breakdown product of carbohydrates, n-Butanol is also a natural component of many foods.

n-Butanol is used as a solvent for paints, but is also used in the manufacture of cleaning agents, polishes and flotation chemicals, in textile finishing and as a flavoring in the food industry. In addition, the compound serves as a starting material for the production of more complex compounds such as glycol butyl ethers, butyl acetate, butyl acrylate and phthalates. n-Butanol can also be used as an energy carrier and is a promising biofuel due to the possibility of production from renewable raw materials.

At PENPET you can reliably soruce the required amount of n-Butanol. We look forward to receiving your inquiry for an individual offer. Delivery is usually as a liquid in ISO tank containers or road tankers. However, it can also be sold in drums and IBC containers of different capacities.

CAS no. 71-36-3
EINECS no. 200-751-6
Molecular formula: C4H9OH

Synonyms: 1-butanol, butan-1-ol, butyl alcohol, butyl hydroxide, propylmethanol, propylcarbinol, 1-hydroxybutane

Areas of application: Production of esters and ethers, use as a solvent, use as an organically produced fuel


More Information

n-Butanol is an unbranched, primary alcohol. The substance consists of a regular butane compound which has a hydroxy group at one end. This functional group makes n-butanol an alcohol and defines the substance's primary reactivity. Typical transformations are esterification together with a carboxylic acid, condensation to form an ether, and dehydration of the substance to an aldehyde.

In addition to the linear n-butanol, there are three other isomers with a similar chemical structure and the same molecular formula. The substances 2-butanol, isobutanol and tert-butanol differ from it in the arrangement of the carbon atoms and the position of the hydroxy group within the molecule. As a result, they have, among other things, different melting and boiling points and different solubility in water.

The colorless liquid has a characteristic odor that is described as wine-like, sweet and like cheap alcohol, among other things. n-Butanol is only moderately soluble in water. However, n-butanol can be mixed as desired with common organic solvents such as ketones, glycol, diethyl ether, aldehydes and other alcohols.

n-Butanol reacts violently with a number of substances, generating a lot of heat. These include strong oxidizing agents, strong reducing agents, acid chlorides and acid anhydrides. Contact with aluminum, alkaline earth metals and alkali metals can produce hazardous gases, including explosive hydrogen. When storing, it should be noted that n-butanol attacks plastics, coatings, resins and rubber, and also aluminum at elevated temperatures.

Liquid n-butanol and its vapors are highly flammable. Flammable vapor-air mixtures can form with the ambient air above the flash point of 35 °C. Due to their higher density, n-butanol vapors are heavier than air and can gradually spread along the ground. This makes remote ignition possible. n-Butanol should be stored in an airtight container and kept away from sources of ignition such as open flames, sparks, static electricity and hot surfaces. Burning and heating n-butanol emits irritating fumes and noxious gases such as carbon monoxide.

The acute toxicity of n-butanol is considered to be low. It is broken down in the body in a similar way to ethanol. The compound has an irritating and degreasing effect on the skin. Like other organic solvents, liquid n-butanol can cause severe eye irritation and burns. Loss of vision is possible. In the event of direct contact, the affected eye must be rinsed with plenty of water and treated by an ophthalmologist immediately.

The fumes from the compound are irritating to the respiratory tract and can cause a burning sensation in the mucous membranes of the nose and throat, a dry cough and temporary shortness of breath. Inhalation of large amounts may cause headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, unconsciousness and other brain dysfunction. Containers must therefore not be left open. When handling n-butanol, appropriate protective measures, such as the use of respiratory protection filters, must be observed. Oral ingestion of n-butanol also causes dizziness, nausea and headaches. In larger quantities, it can also cause organ damage to the liver and kidneys, nerve damage and changes in the blood count.

n-Butanol is considered to be slightly hazardous to water and is toxic to aquatic organisms in higher concentrations. Leakage into the sewage system, soil and water bodies must be prevented.

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