What is N-Butanol?

n-Butanol (also known as normal butanol and n-butyl alcohol) is a primary alcohol with a molecular formula of C4H10O. It is a colourless liquid of medium volatility and a characteristic banana-like odour. n-Butanol has limited miscibility in water; however, it is easily soluble in regular solvents such as ethers, alcohol, glycols and hydrocarbons. This solvent is very flammable, with a flashpoint of around 35° C.


Technical Properties

Technical properties of n-Butanol:

Cas Number: 71-36-3

Molecular Formula: C4H10O

Synonyms: butan-1-ol, 1-butanol, normal butanol, and n-butyl alcohol

Molecular Mass: 74.12

Flashpoint (closed cup): 29 °C (84.2 °F)

Autoignition temperature: 343 °C (649.4 °F)

Boiling Point: 117 °C (242.6 °F)

Melting Point: -90 °C (-130 °F)

Vapour Pressure: 0.58 kPa at 20 °C (68 °F)

Density: 0.81 at 20 °C (68 °F)

Log P: 0.88

The Production of N-Butanol

N-butanol can occur naturally as a product of the fermentation of sugars and other carbohydrates. However, the major use (and therefore production) is in the industrial arena. It is a bulk petrochemical manufactured from the feedstock of propylene in an ‘oxo process’ in the presence of a homogeneous catalyst. This creates butyraldehyde which is subsequently hydrogenated to produce n-butanol.

How is N-Butanol stored and distributed?

A chemical wholesaler would have a bulk petrochemical storage facility to maintain the product. Storage is normally in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated facility away from oxidising agents. N-butanol should be kept out of direct sunlight, heat, and open flames. Solvents such as n-butanol should be stored in drummed containers such as iso tanks made of stainless steel, aluminium, or carbon steel.

N-butanol is classed as a flammable liquid with a flammability rating of 3 under the NDPA 704 due to its flashpoint of 35 °C. A bulk solvent exporter, such as Solventis, would normally distribute this solvent in bulk vessels or tank trucks.

What is N-Butanol used for?

1-Butanol can be used as a chemical intermediate to create other chemicals (e.g., esters, n-butyl acetate, and amino resins); alternatively, it can be used as a solvent in the creation of consumer products. N-butanol is used as a solvent for paints, coatings, varnishes, fats, oils, waxes, rubber, and plasticizers.

Other uses include coating fabric in the textiles industry, as a cleaning or polishing agent, gasoline, brake fluid and in consumer products such as make-up, nail products, hygiene products and shaving products in the cosmetic industry.

Butanol at 85% can be used in car engines that are designed for gasoline with no engine modification required. This allows for lower fuel consumption than other gasoline alternatives such as ethanol due to the lower oxygen content of n-butanol.

The chemical is present in several foods and beverages as an artificial flavouring. It is also used in food preparation such as during the manufacture of hop extract for beermaking.

The main user end market of this product is the chemical, petrochemical, textiles, cleaning, and cosmetics industries.

Solventis as your N-Butanol Supplier

Solventis is a leading bulk supplier and distributor of n-butanol or 1-Butanol in the UK, Europe and globally. As a company with offices in the UK and Belgium, we are proud to be able to offer a personal and efficient service, together with highly competitive prices.

As a result of our state-of-the-art facility in Antwerp, Belgium, we can guarantee the quality, efficiency, safety, and environmental awareness for our whole range of products that is second to none. Please contact us for more information on our n-butanol or any alcohol from our range on our enquiry form or by phone on +44 (0)1483 203224.

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