Isopropyl alcohol, also called 2-propanol, with a formula C3H8O, one of the most common members of the alcohol family of organic compounds. Isopropyl alcohol was the first commercial synthetic alcohol; chemists at the Standard Oil Company of New Jersery (later Exxon Mobil) first produced it in 1920 while studying petroleum by-products. It is easily synthesized from the reaction of propylene with sulfuric acid, followed by hydrolysis.
Isopropyl Alcohol is an isomer of propyl alcohol with antibacterial properties. Although the exact mechanism of isopropanol’s disinfecting action is not known, it might kill cells by denaturing cell proteins and DNA, interfering with cellular metabolism, and dissolving cell lipo-protein membranes. Isopropanol is used in soaps and lotions as an antiseptic.
Rubbing alcohol is the common name for the molecule isopropyl alcohol. This chemical is very closely related to the familiar substance ethanol, or drinking alcohol, which is found in beer, wine and hard liquor. Unlike drinking alcohol, rubbing alcohol is not suitable for human consumption. It does, however, possess many of ethanol’s chemical properties. For instance, like ethanol, it’s soluble in water and it has a low boiling point. Rubbing alcohol’s chemical properties give it utility in many household applications.
In some cases the hydration of propylene is carried out in one step, using water and a catalyst at high pressure. Isopropyl alcohol is mixed with water for use as a rubbing-alcohol antiseptic. It is also used in aftershave lotions, hand lotions, and other cosmetics.
In industry it is used as an inexpensive solvent for cosmetic, drugs, shellacs, and gums, as well as for denaturing ethanol (ethyl alcohol). Added to wet gas, it helps to prevent separation and freezing of a water layer. Isopropyl alcohol is easily oxidized to acetone, another important solvent.
Applications of Isopropyl alcohol
Isopropyl alcohol can be used for more than sanitizing a thermometer in between each use. Most of us would be surprised at all the amazing household uses for isopropyl alcohol. Even if you don’t like the smell it evaporates quickly and most drugstores carry wintergreen isopropyl alcohol which smells much nicer. While it is a great sanitizing agent it also cuts grease, therefore there are infinite uses for it around the house.
Isopropyl alcohol is often employed as an antiseptic, and you have likely had a doctor use it to swab your skin before injections to kill surface bacteria. It is used to clean minor cuts and abrasions, and to kill any bacteria that might be in the area in order to prevent bacterial growth. It is also approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, as a surgical scrub and clinical hand sanitizer.
Astringents are substances that can shrink or tighten your body tissues, like the pores in your skin, when they are applied topically. Isopropyl alcohol acts as an astringent and is often used in skin toners and tightening formulas along with other astringents like witch hazel. It helps to give your skin a smoother look and make pores less visible. Astringents also help to stop bleeding in minor cuts and scrapes by tightening up the capillaries that are losing blood.
Liniment for Muscle Aches
A liniment is a liquid that can be rubbed over the surface of aching muscles or painful joints to help reduce pain and swelling. According to the Columbia Online Encyclopedia, alcohol is an effective liniment because it acts as a minor irritant to the skin increasing circulation and blood flow to the area. This increased circulation helps to ease pain and inflammation.
Isopropyl alcohol is used in a wide range of applications that extend far beyond the above list. It is used in manufacturing acetone, glycerol, and isopropyl acetate; for de-icing your car’s windshield; as a laboratory reagent in a variety of chemical reactions, and even as a preservative and dehydrating agent in processes like sample preservation.
One of IPA’s most common application is as an industrial solvent, and can be used in a range of processes. Some its uses as a solvent include:
1. Dilution and extraction in laboratory chemicals
3.Flexography, lithography, and equipment cleaning in printmaking
4.Cold-cleaning in electroplating