N Butanol

Cas No: 71-36-3          
EINESC No: 200-751-6
Molecular weight: 74,12 g/mol  

Chemical Formula: C4H10O
Chemical Structure:

Physical Properties

General Properties: Colorless, reflective liquid

Odor: Stong, spirituous, sweet, banana-like

Intensity: 0,81 g/cm3

Boiling point: 117.7 °C

Melting point: -89.8 °C

Flash point: 35 °C

Vapor pressure: 0.58 kPa (20 °C)

Refraction index: 1.3993 (20° C)

Solubility (aqueous): 79 g/L (20 °C)

General Properties

N-butanol, also known as 1-butanol, is a primary aclcohol which has linear structure. It is formed by fermentation of carbonhydrates in nature. It can be found in many foods and beverages. It is used in many fields, especially in food production.


N-butanol was originally produced by fermentation of bacteria. Then, it was produced from crotonaldehyde, which is acquired from acetic acid. After 1950s, it has been produced from propylene.

In this method, also known as Oxo process, propylene is transformed into butyraldehyde via hydroformulation. Then, butyraldehyde is hydrogenized via cobalt or rhodium catalyst. In 1997, 784 n-butanol is prodced in america, 575 in West Europe and 225 in Japan.


N-butanol has a variety of uses throughout the world. It is used as artificial sweetener in butter, fruits, liquors, ice cream and many more. It is a raw material in butyl acetate and it is mostly produced for this purpose. It is also commonly used as solvent in varnish production. It is a very good solvent for nitrocellulose.

Also, many plasticizers are produced from esters which are acquired from n-butanol.

N-butanol is commonly used as bio-fuel as it is produced by fermentation. It can be mixed in gasoline engines up to 85% without making any changes. When it is used as additive substance in diesel fuels, it provides reduction in emission.

It is also used in artificial leather, rubber, dye, parfume and plastic productions.

Safety Measures and Toxic Values

N-butanol’s toxic value is relatively low. Its LD50 value in vertabrates is 790 mg/kg. It is proven to be 6 times more intoxicating than ethanol. It metabolizes similarly to ethanol.

It is extremely irritant to eyes. It must be kept away from skin. Although it is less flammable than many organic solvents, it is sill flammable. When stored, it must be kept away from all fire sources.