2-Methylfuran

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2-Methylfuran

2-Methylfuran is an organic compound with the formula C5H6O. It is a colorless, flammable liquid with a slightly sweet odor, commonly used as a specialized solvent and in the synthesis of various chemicals. This compound belongs to the class of chemical compounds known as furans, which are heterocyclic compounds containing a five-membered aromatic ring with four carbon atoms and one oxygen atom.

Properties[edit | edit source]

2-Methylfuran has a boiling point of 63°C and a melting point of -136°C. It is slightly soluble in water, but it mixes well with most organic solvents like ethanol, diethyl ether, and benzene. Due to its flammable nature, it requires careful handling and storage conditions to prevent accidents.

Production[edit | edit source]

2-Methylfuran is typically produced through the catalytic hydrogenation of furfural, a derivative of agricultural byproducts such as corn husks, oat hulls, and sugarcane bagasse. The process involves the use of a metal catalyst under high pressure and temperature to reduce furfural to 2-methylfuran.

Applications[edit | edit source]

The primary use of 2-methylfuran is as a solvent in the chemical industry, where its properties are utilized in various organic synthesis processes. Additionally, it has been explored as a potential biofuel, due to its high energy content and the fact that it can be derived from biomass. Its application in the fuel industry is seen as a way to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

Safety and Environmental Impact[edit | edit source]

2-Methylfuran is flammable and poses a risk of fire and explosion if not handled properly. It is also considered to be potentially harmful if inhaled, ingested, or comes into contact with skin. In the environment, 2-methylfuran can contribute to air and water pollution if released in large quantities. Therefore, regulations are in place to manage its production, use, and disposal to minimize its environmental impact.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD