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1,3-Butanediol is an organic compound with the chemical formula C₄H₁₀O₂. It is one of the four stable isomers of butanediol. This diol is a colorless, water-soluble liquid with a slightly sweet taste. It is used in various industrial applications, including as a solvent, in the production of plastics, and as a precursor to other chemicals.

Chemical Structure and Properties[edit | edit source]

1,3-Butanediol has the structural formula HOCH₂CH₂CH(OH)CH₃. It is a diol, meaning it contains two hydroxyl groups (-OH). The presence of these hydroxyl groups makes it highly soluble in water and gives it hygroscopic properties.

Synthesis[edit | edit source]

1,3-Butanediol can be synthesized through several methods, including the hydrogenation of aldol products derived from acetaldehyde and formaldehyde. Another method involves the reduction of 3-hydroxybutanal.

Applications[edit | edit source]

Solvent[edit | edit source]

1,3-Butanediol is used as a solvent in various industrial processes. Its ability to dissolve both polar and non-polar substances makes it versatile for use in coatings, adhesives, and inks.

Plastic Production[edit | edit source]

In the production of polyurethane and other polymers, 1,3-Butanediol serves as a monomer or a chain extender. It contributes to the flexibility and durability of the final product.

Chemical Intermediate[edit | edit source]

1,3-Butanediol is a precursor to other chemicals, such as butyrolactone and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB). These compounds have applications ranging from pharmaceuticals to industrial solvents.

Biological Role and Metabolism[edit | edit source]

In biological systems, 1,3-Butanediol can be metabolized into beta-hydroxybutyrate, a type of ketone body. This metabolic pathway is of interest in the study of ketogenic diets and metabolic disorders.

Safety and Handling[edit | edit source]

1,3-Butanediol is generally considered to be of low toxicity. However, it should be handled with care, as it can cause irritation to the skin and eyes. Proper personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used when handling this chemical.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD