Isopropyl Alcohol - C3H8O

What is Isopropyl Alcohol?

Isopropyl alcohol commonly referred to as Isopropanol or n-propanol or dimethylcarbinol is a colourless and flammable liquid with the formula C3H8O.

Isopropyl alcohol is widely employed in solvent applications. Isopropyl alcohol was one of the first petrochemical products to be manufactured and produced since 1920. The solvent properties of isopropyl alcohol is similar to ethyl alcohol. It is also called isopropyl solvents.

IUPAC name – Propan-2-ol

C3H8O Isopropyl Alcohol
Density 786 kg/m³
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass 60.1 g/mol
Boiling Point 82.5 °C
Melting point -89 °C
Chemical Formula CH3CH(OH)CH3

Isopropyl Alcohol Structure – C3H8O

Isopropyl Alcohol Structure - C3H8O

Isopropyl Alcohol Structure – C3H8O

Isopropyl Alcohol Synthesis- C3H8O

Propylene on esterification in the presence of sulphuric acid undergoes hydrolysis to form isopropyl alcohol. The reaction is as follows.

CH3-CH=CH2 + H2SO4 ⟶ CH3CH(OH)CH3 (Isopropyl Alcohol)

Physical Properties of Isopropyl Alcohol – C3H8O

Odour Unpleasant like ethyl alcohol
Appearance Clear, colourless liquid
Specific Density 786 kg/m³
Specific heat 2.68 J/(gK)
Solubility Completely soluble in water.

Chemical Properties of Isopropyl Alcohol – C3H8O

  1. It reacts in a complex way with bromine giving mainly brominated acetones such as BrCH2COCBr3 and isopropyl bromide.C3H7OH ➝ BrCH2COCBr3 + CH3CH(Br)CH3(isopropyl bromide)
  2. It is the main ingredient in rubbing alcohol. It can decompose into acetone and hydrogen gas according to the following reaction.C3H7OH ➝ C3H6O(acetone) + H2

Uses of Isopropyl Alcohol – C3H8O

  • Used as a solvent and intermediate in the production of chemicals. In industry, it is used as a solvent for instant manufacture of cements, primers, paints and varnishes.
  • Most commonly used as a disinfectant for wiping down the surfaces of furniture and shelves in the operating room. It is effective against HBV viruses and is, therefore, used to clean blood or body fluids from the surface of equipment or furniture in the operating room.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is isopropyl alcohol used for?

Isopropyl alcohol is combined with water to be used as an antiseptic rubbing-alcohol. This is also used in aftershave lotions, lotions on hands and other cosmetics. This is used in industry as a cheap solvent for cosmetics, medicines, shellacs, and gums, as well as for the denaturation of ethanol (ethyl alcohol).

What reacts with isopropyl alcohol?

Isopropyl alcohol, which is the equivalent ketone, can be oxidized to acetone. Unlike other alcohol isopropyl alcohol leads to the formation of alkoxide that can be called isopropoxides with active metals such as potassium.

Are isopropanol and isopropyl alcohol the same?

The same chemical compound has different names for isopropanol and isopropyl alcohol. The ambiguity stems from the combining of two chemical naming codes. Propan-2-ol is the appropriate name under the IUPAC system; but isopropyl alcohol is the most widely used term for these chemicals.

Why is isopropyl alcohol toxic?

Isopropyl alcohol also greatly irritates the digestive tract. Drinking a lot of this in the stomach and intestines can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, pain and bleeding. It can lead to low blood pressure, fatigue, shock, and coma. Rubbing alcohol when inhaled can also be harmful.

What type of alcohol is isopropyl?

Isopropyl or isopropanol is composed of propylene gas. It is similar to synthetic ethyl alcohol, and if ingested, is poisonous. You will find it listed on wind shield washer ingredients and nail polish removers. Rubbing alcohol is mixed with water by the isopropyl alcohol.

Test your Knowledge on Isopropyl alcohol!

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