From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

1-Butanethiol[edit | edit source]

1-Butanethiol, also known as n-butyl mercaptan, is an organic compound with the chemical formula C4H9SH. It is a colorless liquid with a strong, unpleasant odor. This compound belongs to the class of thiol compounds, which are characterized by the presence of a sulfur atom bonded to a carbon atom.

Properties[edit | edit source]

1-Butanethiol has a boiling point of approximately 97 °C (207 °F) and a melting point of -112 °C (-170 °F). It is soluble in organic solvents such as ethanol and diethyl ether, but insoluble in water. The compound is highly flammable and should be handled with care.

Production[edit | edit source]

1-Butanethiol is primarily produced through the reaction of 1-butanol with hydrogen sulfide gas. This reaction is typically carried out in the presence of a catalyst, such as zinc oxide or aluminum oxide. The resulting product is then purified through distillation to obtain pure 1-butanethiol.

Uses[edit | edit source]

1-Butanethiol finds applications in various industries. It is commonly used as a flavoring agent in the food industry, providing a characteristic odor to certain food products. Additionally, it is utilized as a precursor in the synthesis of other organic compounds, including pharmaceuticals and pesticides.

Safety[edit | edit source]

Due to its strong odor and low odor threshold, 1-butanethiol can be easily detected even at low concentrations. It is considered to be a hazardous substance and should be handled with caution. Inhalation or ingestion of this compound can cause irritation to the respiratory system, eyes, and skin. Proper protective measures, such as gloves and goggles, should be used when working with 1-butanethiol.

References[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD