Tetrahydrofuran (THF) is also known as butylene oxide and diethylene oxide. Tetrahydrofuran (THF) is one of the most widely used chemical solvents used in Different industries.
THF is a chemical compound with a special structure. This chemical compound is actually a heterocyclic organic compound consisting of 5 carbon atoms and one oxygen atom in a ring. This organic compound is normally in liquid form with low viscosity.
This material is used to make elastic polyurethane fibers and high-consumption solvents in the PVC industry. It is also used in resin manufacturing industries. A similar solvent to this substance is Benzene.
Physical and Chemical Properties:
THF is a clear, colorless, volatile liquid that can be mixed with water. The chemical formula of this compound is C4H8O and it has a low viscosity. This substance is produced both in liquid and dry form.
|Density (g/cm3 at 20 °C)||0.8876|
|Melting point (° C)||−108.4 (−163.1 °F; 164.8 K)|
|Boiling Point (° C)||66 (151 °F; 339 K)|
|Solubility||Very soluble in acetone, benzene, ether, ethanol, and chloroform|
|Flashpoint (° C)||-14.5|
|Vapor pressure (mmHg at 20 °C)||132|
|Viscosity (cP at 25 °C)||0.48|
|Chemical Structure Depiction|
The chemical structure of this compound consists of four carbon atoms, eight hydrogen atoms, and one oxygen atom. Most importantly as a heterocyclic ether.
The Cyclic means it’s a ring structure, the hetero tells us that at least one of the atoms within the ring is something other than carbon, and the ether portion of the name tells us the functional group. Ether is an organic functional group in which a central oxygen atom is bonded to two carbon-based groups.
- The most widely used industrial process for the production of THF involves the dehydration of 1,4- butanediol with an acid catalyst. This method is similar to the production of diethyl ether from ethanol. Butanediol is obtained from the concentration of acetylene with formaldehyde followed by hydrogenation.
- This method of producing tetrahydrofuran is the conversion of n-butane to maleic anhydride during the oxidation process and then catalytic dehydrogenation can produce tetrahydrofuran.
- Another method of production of diethylene oxide is catalytic dehydration of furan as an available compound.
Applications and Uses of THF:
- The main use of tetrahydrofuran is as a solvent and it is used to produce many kinds of adhesives, cleaning and dyeing liquids, varnishes and printing inks, and many kinds of coatings.
- THF is a widely used solvent in the industry of PVC, natural and synthetic resins, vinyl films and cellophane, polymer coatings, protective coatings, and magnetic tapes.
- This solvent is used in the pharmaceutical industry in the synthesis of drugs and vitamins and also in perfumery.
- This chemical is also used in the production of synthetic leather coatings.
- In many cases, the use of THF in the reaction allows higher efficiencies and faster reaction rates.
- as a solvent for polymers in gel permeation chromatography.
- The suitable solvent in reverse-phase liquid chromatography.
- Due to its good properties, solubility, and high penetration of THF solvent, it is used as a solvent for vinyl and epoxy adhesives.
- In addition, THF is used in pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and other industries as a reaction solvent and purifier.
The chemical solvent tetrahydrofuran is an almost dangerous and highly flammable liquid. If inhaled, it will irritate the respiratory system and cause allergies. If THF solvent is absorbed into the skin, it can cause irritation. Contact of this organic compound with the eyes also causes eye irritation.
workers must wear special work clothes, gloves, and masks When they are working with this organic substance because this substance is flammable.
- Skin Contact: Immediately flush skin with water.
- Inhalation: move the person to the fresh air.
- Eye Contact: Rinse eyes with water for at least 15-20 minutes.
- Ingestion: Do not induce vomiting. Get medical aid immediately. Call a poison control center.
Packing and storage:
Keep the container tightly closed in a dry and well-ventilated place.