What is isopropyl alcohol?

What is isopropyl alcohol?

2-propanol is one of the representatives of the chemical alcohol family, which stands for the group of organic compounds consisting of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. 2-propanol, also known as isopropyl alcohol, was the first ever commercial synthetic alcohol. It was first produced in 1920 by the company known today under the brand ExxonMobil during the studies of petroleum by-products.

After the discovery, 2-propanol became widely used in various industries, including the automotive sector. In particular, it’s used to produce different types of antifreeze — solutions prone to freezing that are used in car cooling systems. It’s also quite effective to be used in multiple household products, including glass cleaners, jewelry cleaners, stain removers, deicers, household disinfectants, and different types of lotions. The production and use of the compound increased during the pandemic since isopropyl alcohol is mixed with water for use as a rubbing-alcohol antiseptic necessary in hand sanitizers. 2-propanol is easily oxidized to acetone, another important solvent.

On the whole, isopropyl alcohol CAS 67-63-0 is important not only in different industries but in the formulation of other compounds as well. Nevertheless, when working with a high-concentration product, it’s important to follow basic security measures and keep in mind that this compound is highly flammable.

Chemical properties and use in reactions

  • Formula: C3H7OH
  • Molar Weight: 60.09 g/mol
  • Density: 0.785 g/cm³ (20°C)
  • Synonyms: 2-propanol, Isopropanol, IPA

C3H7OH can be easily mixed with water, ethanol, and chloroform, due to the molecular structure of the compound — it’s polar. During industrial production, the properties of the compound can be used to dissolve ethyl cellulose, polyvinyl butyral, many oils, alkaloids, and natural resins. What makes it different from other compounds of the alcohol family is that 2-propanol isn’t miscible with salt solutions.

Water and 2-propanol form a mixture of two liquids that has a constant boiling point and composition throughout distillation, also known as an azeotrope. The boiling point of such a mixture reaches 80.37 °C (176.67 °F) when 91% of this mixture’s volume is IA. 

IA is a colorless liquid that becomes quite viscous when the temperature decreases. Its freezing point is −89 °C (−128 °F).

2-propanol is easy to oxidize to acetone when applying chromic acid, for instance. Other oxidizing agents might also be quite efficient. The same result might also be achieved by by dehydrogenation of isopropyl alcohol over a heated copper catalyst. See the example of the reaction:

(CH3)2CHOH → (CH3)2CO + H2

One more interesting chemical property of 2-propanol is that when being applied in the Meerwein-Ponndorf-Verley reduction and other transfer hydrogenation reactions, it can serve both as a solvent and hydride. When it’s heated with sulfuric acid, it can be dehydrated.

Where to buy high-quality isopropyl alcohol?

If you want to buy isopropyl alcohol CAS 67-63-0 you should consider a bunch of important characteristics of the chosen supplier. This includes regulations and certifications for distribution, delivery, and customer support. You should also take into account price factors. For instance, here — https://chemist.eu/catalog/chemical-reagents/isopropyl-alcohol-999-cas-67-63-0 — isopropyl alcohol 99% varies even if the difference in concentration is a fraction of a percent. Nevertheless, you can buy it legally and count on fast and safe delivery.

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