Air & Water Reactions
Highly flammable. Water soluble.
Colorless oily liquid with a sharp alcohol odor. Floats and mixes with water. Produces irritating vapor. Freezing point is 78°F.
Attacks plastics. [Handling Chemicals Safely 1980. p. 236]. Acetyl bromide reacts violently with alcohols or water [Merck 11th ed. 1989]. Mixtures of alcohols with concentrated sulfuric acid and strong hydrogen peroxide can cause explosions. Example: an explosion will occur if dimethylbenzylcarbinol is added to 90% hydrogen peroxide then acidified with concentrated sulfuric acid. Mixtures of ethyl alcohol with concentrated hydrogen peroxide form powerful explosives. Mixtures of hydrogen peroxide and 1-phenylm-2-methyl propyl alcohol tend to explode if acidified with 70% sulfuric acid [Chem. Eng. News 45(43):73 1967; J, Org. Chem. 28:1893 1963]. Alkyl hypochlorites are violently explosive. They are readily obtained by reacting hypochlorous acid and alcohols either in aqueous solution or mixed aqueous-carbon tetrachloride solutions. Chlorine plus alcohols would similarly yield alkyl hypochlorites. They decompose in the cold and explode on exposure to sunlight or heat. Tertiary hypochlorites are less unstable than secondary or primary hypochlorites [NFPA 491 M 1991]. Base-catalysed reactions of isocyanates with alcohols should be carried out in inert solvents. Such reactions in the absence of solvents often occur with explosive violence [Wischmeyer 1969].
Butyl alcohol, also known as butanol, exists in three isomeric alcohols that are toxic and soluble in most organic liquids. n-butyl alcohol, CH3(CH2)2CH20H, also known as l-butanol, propyl carbinol, and prim-butyl alcohol, is a colorless liquid. It is used in manufacturing perfumes and lacquers. sec-butyl alcohol, CH3CH2CHOHCH3, also known as 2-butanol, ethyl-methyl carbinol, butylene hydrate, and 2-hydroxy butane, is a colorless liquid. It is used in the preparation of fruit essence. tert-butyl alcohol, (CH3)3COH, also known as 2-methyl 2-propanol and trimethyl carbinol, is a colorless liquid.
Denaturant for ethanol, manufacturing flotation agents, flavors, perfumes; as solvent; in paint removers. Octane booster in gasoline.
It is synthesised commercially by the hydration of 2-methylpropene in dilute H2SO4. Dry it with CaO, K2CO3, CaSO4 or MgSO4, filter and fractionally distil it. Dry further by refluxing with, and distilling from, either magnesium activated with iodine, or small amounts of calcium, sodium or potassium, under nitrogen. Passage through a column of type 4A molecular sieve is another effective method of drying; as well as refluxing with tert-butyl phthalate or succinate. (For method see Ethanol.) Other methods include refluxing with excess aluminium tert-butylate, or standing with CaH2, and distilling as needed. Further purification is achieved by fractional crystallisation by partial freezing, taking care to exclude moisture. tert-Butyl alcohol samples containing much water can be dried by adding *benzene, so that the water distils off as a tertiary azeotrope, b 67.3o. Traces of isobutylene have been removed from dry tert-butyl alcohol by bubbling dry pre-purified nitrogen through for several hours at 40-50o before using. It forms azeotropic mixtures with a large number of compounds. It has also been purified by distillation from CaH2 into Linde 4A molecular sieves which had been activated at 350o for 24hours [Jaeger et al. J Am Chem Soc 101 717 1979]. [Beilstein 1 IV 1609.] Rapid purification: Dry tert-butanol over CaH2 (5% w/v), distil and store it over 3A molecular sieves.
Vapor is narcotic in action and irritating to respiratory passages. Liquid is irritating to skin and eyes.