Uses of Propanol

Propanol belongs to the primary type of alcohol. CH3CH2CH2OH is the propanol formula. This is a colourless liquid and is also sometimes called propan-1-ol, n-propyl alcohol, 1-propyl alcohol, or n-propanol. Meanwhile, propanol was first discovered in 1853 by Gustave C. B. Chancel while conducting fractional distillation of fusel oil.

As such, propanol is a major constituent of fusel oil. Propanol is usually produced industrially by catalytic hydrogenation of propionaldehyde. This alcohol is also formed naturally in smaller quantity during fermentation. It mainly used as a solvent in different industries and in pharma mainly for resins and cellulose esters. Further, propanol usually depicts normal reactions of primary alcohol and thus it can be converted to alkyl halides.

Primary Uses of Propanol

There are several potential uses of propanol and we will discuss them below:

  • As a Solvent
  • Medical Use
  • Cosmetics
  • Fuel

As a Solvent / Intermediate

Most commonly propanol is used as a solvent or it is used to produce other solvents such as antifreezes, lacquer formulations, soaps, dye solutions, window cleaner and more. Compounds of propanol like isopropanol or isopropyl alcohol are most commonly used in the printing industry and in printing ink. Propanol acts as a chemical intermediate in the process of creating halides, propyl amines and propyl acetate.

Medical Use

Propanol also is used in various medicines. Bottles of rubbing alcohol are mostly made up of propanol. It is also used as an antiseptic. You will find it in hand sanitizers whether it is in the form of solutions or wipes. Further, propanol is often used in inhalant products mostly in nebulizers instead of ethanol.


Propanol is usually one of the main constituents of different cosmetics. Acetate is used as a remover for acrylic nails and fingernail polish. It is also used in perfumes.

As a Fuel

It has been found out that, Propanol is a flammable liquid and has a fire hazard rating of 2. It has a high octane number and quite suitable for engine fuel usage. Why is it not common? Well, manufacturing propanol is too expensive.

While its main use is acting as a solvent other applications and uses of propanol are growing significantly in different parts around the world. Besides, propanol is a much safer chemical to use than other synthetic alcohol solutions.

These are some popular uses of propanol. To know more about properties, structure and types of alcohols you can keep visiting BYJU’s or download our app for interesting content and learning experience.

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