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2-Mercaptoethanol[edit | edit source]

Chemical structure of 2-Mercaptoethanol

2-Mercaptoethanol, also known as 2-ME or β-Mercaptoethanol, is a chemical compound with the molecular formula C2H6OS. It is a colorless liquid with a strong, unpleasant odor. 2-Mercaptoethanol is widely used in various industries and research fields due to its unique properties and applications.

Properties[edit | edit source]

2-Mercaptoethanol is highly soluble in water and most organic solvents. It has a boiling point of approximately 158 °C and a melting point of -10 °C. The compound is flammable and should be handled with caution. It is classified as a hazardous substance and proper safety measures should be taken when working with it.

Applications[edit | edit source]

2-Mercaptoethanol has a wide range of applications in different industries and research fields:

1. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: 2-Mercaptoethanol is commonly used as a reducing agent in biochemical and molecular biology experiments. It helps to break disulfide bonds in proteins, allowing for the denaturation and reduction of proteins. This property is particularly useful in protein purification and analysis techniques.

2. Cell Culture: 2-Mercaptoethanol is often added to cell culture media to prevent the accumulation of toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS). It acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from oxidative stress and maintaining their viability.

3. Industrial Applications: 2-Mercaptoethanol is used in various industrial processes, such as the production of rubber, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. It is also used as a stabilizer in the manufacturing of polyurethane foams and as a corrosion inhibitor in metalworking fluids.

Safety Considerations[edit | edit source]

2-Mercaptoethanol is a hazardous substance and should be handled with care. It is toxic if swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. Proper personal protective equipment, such as gloves and goggles, should be worn when working with this compound. It should be stored in a cool, well-ventilated area away from heat sources and incompatible materials.

References[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD