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2-Ethylhexanol

2-Ethylhexanol

Overview
2-Ethylhexanol is a fatty alcohol
Fatty alcohol
Fatty alcohols are aliphatic alcohols consisting of a chain of 8 to 22 carbon atoms. Fatty alcohols usually have even number of carbon atoms and a single alcohol group attached to the terminal carbon. Some are unsaturated and some are branched...

, an organic compound is a branched, eight-carbon chiral alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

. It is a colorless liquid that is nearly insoluble in water but soluble in most organic solvents. It is produced on a massive scale as a precursor to plasticizers, some of which are controversial as potential endocrine disruptor
Endocrine disruptor
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with endocrine in animals, including humans. These disruptions can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders...

s.

Almost all 2-ethylhexanol is converted into the diester
Ester
Esters are chemical compounds derived by reacting an oxoacid with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol. Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH group is replaced by an -O-alkyl group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and...

s bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate
Bisphthalate, commonly abbreviated DEHP, is an organic compound with the formula C6H42. It is sometimes called dioctyl phthalate and abbreviated DOP. It is the most important "phthalate," being the diester of phthalic acid and the branched-chain 2-ethylhexanol. This colourless viscous liquid is...

 (DEHP), a plasticizer
Plasticizer
Plasticizers or dispersants are additives that increase the plasticity or fluidity of the material to which they are added; these include plastics, cement, concrete, wallboard, and clay. Although the same compounds are often used for both plastics and concretes the desired effects and results are...

. Because it is a fatty alcohol
Fatty alcohol
Fatty alcohols are aliphatic alcohols consisting of a chain of 8 to 22 carbon atoms. Fatty alcohols usually have even number of carbon atoms and a single alcohol group attached to the terminal carbon. Some are unsaturated and some are branched...

, its ester
Ester
Esters are chemical compounds derived by reacting an oxoacid with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol. Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH group is replaced by an -O-alkyl group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and...

s tend to have emollient properties.
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Encyclopedia
2-Ethylhexanol is a fatty alcohol
Fatty alcohol
Fatty alcohols are aliphatic alcohols consisting of a chain of 8 to 22 carbon atoms. Fatty alcohols usually have even number of carbon atoms and a single alcohol group attached to the terminal carbon. Some are unsaturated and some are branched...

, an organic compound is a branched, eight-carbon chiral alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

. It is a colorless liquid that is nearly insoluble in water but soluble in most organic solvents. It is produced on a massive scale as a precursor to plasticizers, some of which are controversial as potential endocrine disruptor
Endocrine disruptor
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with endocrine in animals, including humans. These disruptions can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders...

s.

Applications


Almost all 2-ethylhexanol is converted into the diester
Ester
Esters are chemical compounds derived by reacting an oxoacid with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol. Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH group is replaced by an -O-alkyl group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and...

s bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate
Bisphthalate, commonly abbreviated DEHP, is an organic compound with the formula C6H42. It is sometimes called dioctyl phthalate and abbreviated DOP. It is the most important "phthalate," being the diester of phthalic acid and the branched-chain 2-ethylhexanol. This colourless viscous liquid is...

 (DEHP), a plasticizer
Plasticizer
Plasticizers or dispersants are additives that increase the plasticity or fluidity of the material to which they are added; these include plastics, cement, concrete, wallboard, and clay. Although the same compounds are often used for both plastics and concretes the desired effects and results are...

. Because it is a fatty alcohol
Fatty alcohol
Fatty alcohols are aliphatic alcohols consisting of a chain of 8 to 22 carbon atoms. Fatty alcohols usually have even number of carbon atoms and a single alcohol group attached to the terminal carbon. Some are unsaturated and some are branched...

, its ester
Ester
Esters are chemical compounds derived by reacting an oxoacid with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol. Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH group is replaced by an -O-alkyl group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and...

s tend to have emollient properties. For example, the sunscreen
Sunscreen
Sunblock is a lotion, spray, gel or other topical product that absorbs or reflects some of the sun's ultraviolet radiation on the skin exposed to sunlight and thus helps protect against sunburn...

 octocrylene
Octocrylene
Octocrylene is an organic compound used as an ingredient in sunscreens and cosmetics. It is an ester formed by the condensation of a diphenylcyanoacrylate with 2-ethylhexanol...

 contains a 2-ethylhexyl ester for this purpose. It is also commonly used as a low volatility solvent
Solvent
A solvent is a liquid, solid, or gas that dissolves another solid, liquid, or gaseous solute, resulting in a solution that is soluble in a certain volume of solvent at a specified temperature...

.

Industrial production


2-Ethylhexanol is produced industrially by the aldol condensation
Aldol condensation
An aldol condensation is an organic reaction in which an enol or an enolate ion reacts with a carbonyl compound to form a β-hydroxyaldehyde or β-hydroxyketone, followed by a dehydration to give a conjugated enone....

 of n-butyraldehyde, followed by hydrogenation of the resulting hydroxyaldehyde. About 2,500,000 tons are prepared in this way annually.. The n-butyraldehyde is made by hydroformylation
Hydroformylation
Hydroformylation, also known as oxo synthesis or oxo process, is an important industrial process for the production of aldehydes from alkenes. This chemical reaction entails the addition of a formyl group and a hydrogen atom to a carbon-carbon double bond...

 of propylene
Propylene
Propene, also known as propylene or methylethylene, is an unsaturated organic compound having the chemical formula C3H6. It has one double bond, and is the second simplest member of the alkene class of hydrocarbons, and it is also second in natural abundance.-Properties:At room temperature and...

, either in a self-contained plant or as the first step in a fully integrated facility. Most facilities make n-butanol and isobutanol
Isobutanol
Isobutanol is an organic compound with the formula 2CHCH2OH. This colorless, flammable liquid with a characteristic smell is mainly used as a solvent. Its isomers include n-butanol, 2-butanol, and tert-butanol, all of which are more important industrially.-Production:Isobutanol is produced by the...

 in addition to 2-ethylhexanol.

Nomenclature


Isooctanol and 2-ethylhexanol are not synonyms. According to the Chemical Abstracts Service, isooctanol (CAS# 26952-21-6) refers to a different isomer
Isomer
In chemistry, isomers are compounds with the same molecular formula but different structural formulas. Isomers do not necessarily share similar properties, unless they also have the same functional groups. There are many different classes of isomers, like stereoisomers, enantiomers, geometrical...

 of octanol
Octanol
Octanol is a straight chain fatty alcohol with eight carbon atoms and the molecular formula CH37OH. Although the term octanol usually refers exclusively to the primary alcohol 1-octanol, there are other less common isomers of octanol such as the secondary alcohols 2-octanol, 3-octanol and...

, 6-methylheptan-1-ol.

External links