24 Feb 2015

2-Butanol, or sec-butanol, is an organic compound with formula CH3CH(OH)CH2CH3. This secondary alcohol is a flammable, colorless liquid that is soluble in 3 parts water and completely miscible with polar organic solvents such as ethers and other alcohols. It is produced on a large scale, primarily as a precursor to the industrial solvent methyl ethyl ketone. 2-Butanol is chiral and thus can be obtained as either of two stereoisomersdesignated as (R)-(−)-2-butanol and (S)-(+)-2-butanol. It is normally found as an equal mixture of the two stereoisomers — a racemic mixture.

Product Characteristics Specification
Molecular formula C4H10O
Molar mass 74.12 g mol−1
Density 0.808 g cm−3
Melting point -115 °C, 158 K, -175 °F
Boiling point 98-100 °C, 371-373 K, 208-212 °F
Solubility in water 290 g dm−3[2]
log P 0.683
Vapor pressure 1.67 kPa (at 20 °C)
Refractive index (nD) 1.3978 (at 20 °C)


    • SBA is used as a raw material for lube additives (antiwear agents).
    • SBA is used as a coupling agent in water-reducible coatings, industrial cleaning formulations and paint removers.
    • SBA can also be used as an intermediate in the manufacturing of various surfactants, hydraulic fluids, pesticides, mining chemicals and adhesives.
    • Secondary butyl alcohol is a solvent for ester gum, many natural resins and vegetable oils.
    • In the presence of aromatic hydrocarbons it forms a good solvent mixture for alkyd coatings and lacquers based on ethyl cellulose.
    • As a latent solvent in nitrocellulose lacquers, it provides good gloss and leveling properties.
    • Sec-butyl alcohol also acts as a chemical intermediate in the manufacture of methyl ethyl ketone, ore flotation agents, fruit essences, perfumes, dye-stuffs and wetting agents.
    • Other uses for sec-butyl alcohol are as a solvent in the manufacture of polypropylene, for special greases, in printing inks and in adhesives for plywood laminates.

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