Published Online: 4 DEC 2000
Copyright © 2001 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology
How to Cite
Logsdon, J. E. and Loke, R. A. 2000. Isopropyl Alcohol. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology.
- Published Online: 4 DEC 2000
Isopropyl alcohol is a colorless, volatile, flammable liquid having a low order of toxicity and a mild odor. Its main uses are as a chemical intermediate and in solvent applications in medicine and industry. The majority of the isopropyl alcohol in the United States is produced by indirect hydration of propylene in the weak sulfuric acid process. Outside the United States, several acid-catalyzed direct hydration of propylene processes are also used. The indirect process can use refinery-grade propylene streams and lower operating pressures than the direct process, but suffers from higher corrosion and maintenance costs. These processes and the various catalysts employed are described. Isopropyl alcohol demand in the United States has been declining slowly since 1983. Demand is expected to grow slightly owing to increasing use as a chemical intermediate. In addition to its use in the production of acetone, isoproyl alcohol is consumed in the production of higher ketones, amines, esters, and other chemicals. The use of diisopropyl ether as a fuel oxygenate may become a significant outlet for isopropyl alcohol.
Keywords: Isopropyl alcohol; Indirect hydration; Isopropanoll; Direct hydration; Solvents; Disinfectants