Trade name of the product: isopropanol; 2-propanol
Chemical name of the compound: propan-2-ol
Synonyms: 2-hydroxypropan; dimethyl carbinol; sec-propyl alcohol; rubbing alcohol; pseudo propyl alcohol; persprit; alcohol isopropoylicus; petrohol; 1-methylehanol; 1-methylethyl alcohol
Chemical and physical properties: A volatile colorless or lightly amber colored liquid with an acid lightly mouldy odor of denaturated alcohol (ethanol and acetone mixture), mixes well with water.
Application of the substance: Isopropyl alcohol has multiple applications. It can serve as a solvent: it can dissolve a whole range of non-polar compounds. Owing to its ability to quickly evaporate it is an ideal solvent used in detergents, specifically to dissolve oil – for instance in cleaning fine electronic and electrical parts, and also cotton fabrics and elements made of wood. Isopropanol can be used to produce isopropyl acetate, and in the reaction with carbon disulfide and sodium hydroxide it is the component of sodium isopropyl xanthan (herbicide). It is also used as a disinfectant: due to the lowering of the surface tension it shows a higher antibacterial activity. This substance is also added to fuels to prevent the formation of ice crystals from the water found there. Finally, it is used as one of the components of such products as cosmetics and body care products, paints and resins, pharmaceutical tablets, in extraction and purification processes, as a coolant in the brewing industry, a coupling agent, de-icer, polymerization modifier and synthetic flavor improver in the food industry.
Health safety: The vapors can cause light irritation of the eyes and upper respiratory passages, and can have in a high concentration an anesthetic effect. It has an irritating effect for mucous membranes and eyes – it can cause such an injury as cornea abrasion. It is harmless for the skin, however a prolonged contact (above 4 hours) can damage the central nervous system. If consumed, it causes intoxication and vomiting. A prolonged contact with that substance can damage the liver, stomach and the cardiovascular system.