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Encyclopedia > Isopropanol

Isopropyl alcohol or isopropanol is a common name for 2-propanol, an alcohol commonly used for application to the skin, and popularly referred to as rubbing alcohol. Its chemical structure is:


Its formula is C3H8O or more descriptively, CH3.CHOH.CH3.

The alcohol-based sterilizing swabs used to clean skin before injections typically contain a 72% solution of isopropanol in water.

Isopropyl alcohol is also commonly used as a cleaner and solvent in industry. It is also used as a gasoline additive for dissolving water or ice in fuel lines.

Boiling point: 83C

from http://www.epa.gov/grtlakes/seahome/housewaste/house/isoalco.htm:

Isopropyl alcohol, also known as isopropanol, is a colorless liquid with a somewhat unpleasant odor. It is highly flammable. Isopropyl alcohol is found in alcohol sponges, cleaning agents, and rubbing alcohol (though some rubbing alcohols contain ethanol), and is a good disinfectant. Most rubbing alcohol contains 70% isopropyl alcohol. Poisoning can occur through skin absorption, oral ingestion, or inhalation. Symptoms from ingestion, inhalation or absorption of large quantities include flushing, headache, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, anesthesia, and coma. Alcohol baths or sponges to soothe a fever can lead to acute poisoning through skin absorption or inhalation. Instead, the Regional Poison Center suggests using tepid water as a sponge bath to fight fever.

Use: Wear protective gloves when using (see "Household Safety Equipment"). Use in well-ventilated areas.

Storage: Keep out of the reach of children and pets. Make sure lid is tightly capped. Store away from sources of flame or ignition.

Disposal: Flush down drain with plenty of water. If you have a sewage tank or lagoon, dispose of small quantities over a number of days.

External links

  • Isopropyl Alcohol information page (http://www.embbs.com/cr/alc/alc5.html)

  Results from FactBites:
Reduced flammability mixture based on isopropanol - Patent 5143652 (1275 words)
A major disadvantage of isopropanol is its flammability and it is an object of the present invention to provide a means whereby its flammability is considerably reduced without adversely affecting its desirable properties.
It is necessary to specify the temperature a the solubility of the perfluoro-n-hexane in aqueous isopropanol rises with increasing temperature.
The superiority of mixtures in accordance with the invention is illustrated in Table 1, and the solubility of perfluoro-n-hexane in aqueous isopropanol at varying compositions and at various temperatures are given in the accompanying drawing.
DIPHENYLAMINE - (Organic Method #22) (2479 words)
Isopropanol was selected as the collection medium because DFA is very soluble in that solvent.
Two isopropanol bubblers were placed in series and 2 mg of DFA was added to the first bubbler.
The volume of isopropanol in each bubbler was maintained at 10 to 15 mL by adding pure HPLC grade isopropanol as required.
  More results at FactBites »



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