Propylene oxide

Propylene oxide
Propylene oxide
Identifiers
CAS number 75-56-9 YesY
EC number 200-879-2
KEGG C15508 N
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Properties
Molecular formula C3H6O
Molar mass 58.08 g mol−1
Appearance Colorless liquid
Density 0.830
Melting point

−112 °C

Boiling point

34 °C

Solubility in water Appreciable
Hazards
MSDS Oxford MSDS
NFPA 704
NFPA 704.svg
4
3
2
Flash point −37 °C (−35 °F)
Autoignition
temperature
747 °C (1,377 °F)
Explosive limits 2.1-37%
 N oxide (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Propylene oxide is an organic compound with the molecular formula CH3CHCH2O. This colourless volatile liquid is produced on a large scale industrially, its major application being its use for the production of polyether polyols for use in making polyurethane plastics. It is chiral epoxide, although it commonly used as a racemic mixture.

This compound is sometimes called 1,2-propylene oxide to distinguish it from its isomer 1,3-propylene oxide, better known as oxetane.

Contents

Production

Industrial production of propylene oxide starts from propylene. Two general approaches are employed, one involving hydrochlorination and the other involving oxidation.[1] In 2005, about half of the world production was through chlorohydrin technology and one half via oxidation routes. The latter approach is growing in importance.

Hydrochlorination route

The traditional route proceeds via the conversion of propylene to chloropropanols:

Propylenoxid Darstellung 1.svg

The reaction produces a mixture of 1-chloro-2-propanol and 2-chloro-1-propanol, which is then dehydrochlorinated. For example:

Propylenoxid Darstellung 2.svg

Lime is often used as a chlorine absorber.

Co-oxidation of propylene

The other general route to propylene oxide involves co-oxidation of the organic chemicals isobutene or ethylbenzene. In the present of catalyst, air oxidation occurs as follows:

CH3CH=CH2 + Ph-CH2CH3 + O2 → CH3CHCH2O + Ph-CH=CH2 + H2O

The coproducts of these reactions, t-butyl alcohol or styrene, are useful feedstock for other products. For example, t-butyl alcohol reacts with methanol to give MTBE, an additive for gasoline. Before the current ban of MTBE, propylene/isobutene was one of the most important production process.

Oxidation of propylene

In April 2003, Sumitomo Chemical commercialized the first PO-only plant in Japan, which produces propylene oxide from oxidation of cumene without significant production of other products.[2] This method is a variant of the POSM process (co-oxidation) that uses cumene hydroperoxide instead of ethylbenzene hydroperoxide and recycles the coproduct (alpha-hydroxycumene) via dehydration and hydrogenation back to cumene.

In March 2009, BASF and Dow Chemical started up their new HPPO plant in Antwerp.[3] In the HPPO-Process, propylene is oxidized with hydrogen peroxide:

CH3CH=CH2 + H2O2 → CH3CHCH2O + H2O

In this process no side products other than water are generated.[4]

Uses

Between 60 and 70% of all propylene oxide is converted to polyether polyols for the production of polyurethane plastics.[5] About 20% of propylene oxide is hydrolyzed into propylene glycol, via a process which is accelerated by acid or base catalysis. Other major products are polypropylene glycol, propylene glycol ethers, and propylene carbonate.

Historic and niche uses

Propylene oxide was once used as a racing fuel, but that usage is now prohibited under the US NHRA rules for safety reasons. It has also been used in glow fuel for model aircraft and surface vehicles, typically combined in small percentages of around 2% as an additive to the typical methanol, nitromethane, and oil mix. It is also used in thermobaric weapons, and microbial fumigation.

Fumigant

The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of propylene oxide to pasteurize raw almonds beginning on September 1, 2007 in response to two incidents of contamination by Salmonella in commercial orchards, one incident occurring in Canada, and one incident in the United States. Pistachio nuts can also be subjected to propylene oxide to control Salmonella. It is a method approved by the FDA.[6][7]

Microscopy

Propylene oxide is commonly used in the preparation of biological samples for electron microscopy, to remove residual ethanol previously used for dehydration. In a typical procedure, the sample is first immersed in a mixture of equal volumes of ethanol and propylene oxide for 5 minutes, and then four times in pure oxide, 10 minutes each.

Safety

Propylene oxide is a probable human carcinogen,[8] and listed as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen.

References

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • propylene oxide — propeno oksidas statusas T sritis chemija formulė Formulę žr. priede. priedas( ai) Grafinis formatas atitikmenys: angl. propene oxide; propylene oxide rus. окись пропена; окись пропилена ryšiai: sinonimas – 1,2 epoksipropanas sinonimas –… …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • propylene oxide — pro′pylene ox′ide n. chem. a colorless liquid epoxide, C3H6O, similar to ethylene oxide: used mainly for making propylene glycol …   From formal English to slang

  • propylene oxide — noun : a flammable liquid cyclic ether C3H6O similar to ethylene oxide that is made by chlorinating propylene to its chlorohydrin then adding alkali and is used chiefly as a solvent and in organic synthesis …   Useful english dictionary

  • propylene oxide — noun The epoxide derived from propane; it is used in the production of some polyethers Syn: epoxypropane …   Wiktionary

  • poly(propylene oxide) — polioksipropilenas statusas T sritis chemija formulė Formulę žr. priede. priedas( ai) Grafinis formatas atitikmenys: angl. polyoxypropylene; poly(propylene oxide) rus. полиоксипропилен; полипропиленоксид ryšiai: sinonimas – polipropilenoksidas …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • Propylene glycol — Propylene glycol[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Propylene carbonate — Propylene carbonate[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Ethylene oxide — Oxirane redirects here. For oxiranes as a class of molecules, see epoxide. Ethylene oxide …   Wikipedia

  • Hexafluoropropylene oxide — Chembox new ImageFile = HFPO.png ImageSize = 150px IUPACName = 2,2,3 Trifluoro 3 (trifluoromethyl)oxirane OtherNames = Section1 = Chembox Identifiers Abbreviations = HFPO CASNo = 428 59 1 PubChem = 9883 SMILES = C1(C(O1)(F)F)(C(F)(F)F)F Section2 …   Wikipedia

  • propene oxide — propeno oksidas statusas T sritis chemija formulė Formulę žr. priede. priedas( ai) Grafinis formatas atitikmenys: angl. propene oxide; propylene oxide rus. окись пропена; окись пропилена ryšiai: sinonimas – 1,2 epoksipropanas sinonimas –… …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

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