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2-Butanol (also known as sec-butanol) is an organic compound with the formula CH3CH(OH)CH2CH3. This secondary alcohol is a flammable, colorless liquid that is soluble in 12 parts water and completely miscible with polar organic solvent such as ethers and other alcohols. It is produced on a large scale, primarily as a precursor to the industrial solvent methyl ethyl ketone. 2-Butanol is chiral and thus can be obtained as either of two stereoisomers.

Production[edit | edit source]

2-Butanol is produced by the hydration of butene in a process that involves acid catalysts. The reaction is highly exothermic, with a heat of reaction of -216 kJ/mol. The process is typically carried out in the liquid phase at elevated pressure.

Uses[edit | edit source]

2-Butanol is used as a solvent for many chemical reactions, as well as being a precursor to other chemical compounds. It is also used in the manufacture of brake fluid and as a component of perfumes due to its pleasant odor.

Safety[edit | edit source]

2-Butanol is considered a mild skin irritant and may cause eye irritation. It is also considered a mild central nervous system depressant and can cause dizziness, headache, and nausea if inhaled in high concentrations.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD