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Iso Propyl Alcohol- Iso propanol
Iso propyl alcohol or Iso Propanol or 2-propanol is a structural isomer of propanol and has the molecular formula of C3H8O, CAS: 67-63-0. It is a clear, colourless liquid and has a distinctive strong alcohol or acetone-like odour. This solvent is highly flammable, with a flashpoint of around 11 – 13° C. Iso propanol is soluble in most solvents, including water.
Iso propanol is chemically manufactured by combining water and propene through indirect hydration or direct hydration. The indirect hydration method is a reaction between propene and sulphuric acid to create sulphate esters. This product then undergoes hydrolysis. This method can use a low quality propene because of the mixture with sulphuric acid. The direct method manufactures the product by reacting propene and water in with an acid catalyst. The propene for this method needs to be of a high quality. In both the above methods, the mixture of water and by-products need to go through a distillation process to separate out the iso propanol.
The largest use of iso propanol is as a solvent, cleaning product and a chemical intermediate. It can be found in paints, thinners for wood furnishings, inks, cosmetics, toiletries, household cleaning products, specialist cleaning products and room sprays. It can also be used as an anti-freeze and plays an important part in making the water component of petrol more soluble so that it doesn’t freeze. Iso propanol can also be used as a biological specimen.