Alcohols

N-Propanol

Normal propanol (also known as n-propanol, 1-propanol, Propan-1-l) is a primary alcohol with a molecular formula of CH3(CH2)2OH.  It is a colourless, transparent liquid that has a typical sharp musty odour that is comparable with the smell of rubbing alcohol.  The product is fully miscible in water and freely miscible with all common solvents such as glycols, ketones, alcohols, aldehydes, ethers and aliphatic hydrocarbons.  It has a flash point of around 15° C and improves drying in coating applications.

Production

Normal propanol is manufactured by a catalytic hydrogenation of propionaldehyde.  The propionaldehyde is itself produced via the oxo process, by hydroformylation of ethylene using carbon monoxide and hydrogen in the presence of a catalyst such as cobalt octacarbonyl or a rhodium complex.

Storage and distribution

A chemical stockist would have a bulk petrochemical storage facility to regulate this product.  Storage is normally in a cool, dry and well ventilated facility away from oxidising agents.  Normal propanol should be kept out of direct sunlight, heat and open flames.  Solvents such as normal propanol should be stored in drummed containers such as isotanks made of stainless steel, aluminium or carbon steel.

A bulk solvent exporter would normally distribute this solvent in bulk vessels or tank trucks.  For transportation purposes, normal propanol is classed as a flammable liquid with a fire hazard rating of 2.  A full bulk chemical distributor would export the solvent throughout regions such as the UK, Europe, Africa and America.  This product is a packing group 2.

Uses

Normal propanol is used to manufacture other solvents such as cosmetics, skin/hair preparations, perfumes, pharmaceuticals, lacquer formulations, dye solutions, antifreezes, soaps and window cleaner.  It can also be used to create printing inks, coatings, de-greasing fluids, adhesives, insecticides and herbicides.  Normal propanol is also used as a chemical intermediate to create esters, halides, propyl amines and propyl acetate.  The end user markets of this product are the cosmetics, cleaning, motor, printing, coatings and chemical industries.