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1,4-Butanediol(BDO) is the organic compound with the formula HOCH2CH2CH2CH2OH. This colorless liquid is derived from butane by placing alcohol groups at each end of the chain. It is one of four stable isomers of butanediol.
1,4-butanediol(BDO) is an industrial chemical which provides good environmental characteristics and involves minimal health risks to workers. 1,4-BDO is an important raw material used in both the organic chemical and fine chemical industries. It is widely used in the medicine industry, the chemical industry, the textile industry, the paper making industry, the automobile industry, and the daily-using chemical industry.
1,4-Butanediol(BDO) is used in industries as a solvent and in the manufacture of some types of plastics, elastic fibers and polyurethanes. Inorganic chemistry, 1,4-butanediol(BDO) is used for the synthesis of γ-butyrolactone (GBL).It dehydrates to an important solvent tetrahydrofuran in the presence of phosphoric acid and high temperature. At about 200°C in the presence of soluble ruthenium catalysts, the diol undergoes dehydrogenation to form butyrolactone.
1,4-Butanediol(BDO) is an immediate chemical used in the production of chemicals and polymers.
Given some of the application sectors and their end use
Tetrahydrofuran (THF)- PTMEG to Spandex fibres, Solvents
Themoplastic polyurethane (TPU)- Synthetic leather sole material
Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT)- Engineering plastic – various PBT compounding materials; N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) (Extraction solvent, cleaning agent used in the electronics industry, polyaramids)
Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL)- 2-pyrrolidone (pharmaceutical Intermediates and high value polymers), n-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone (polyvinyl pyrrolidone); Agrochemicals; Foundry resins; Elastomers and copolyester ethers
Benefits and Applications
1,4-Butanediol(BDO) is a versatile chemical intermediate because of its terminal, primary hydroxyl groups and its hydrophobic and chemical resistant nature. Polymers produced upon reaction with diacids or diisocyanates are the basis for many commercial polyurethane and polyester applications.
Thermoplastic Polyesters- 1,4-Butanediol(BDO) is used to manufacture polybutylene terephthalate (PBT). PBT's high strength, excellent thermal stability and good durability lead to its many uses in the automotive, electrical and appliance industries. PBT is also compatible with several other thermoplastics which enables a compounder to tailor a polymer alloy to an end user's specifications.
1,4-Butanediol(BDO) is a key component of thermoplastic copolyester elastomers. These elastomers rely upon 1,4-Butanediol(BDO) to provide crystallinity which in turn provides elasticity and resilience to these terephthalate based polyesters.
Polyesters- 1,4-Butanediol(BDO)is primarily used as a component of polyesters or as a chain extender. Polyesters such as poly (butylene adipate) diols are formulated into urethane elastomers with excellent oil, chemical and UV resistance. These materials have good mechanical properties over a broad temperature range, as well as good flex and abrasion resistance. As a chain extender with MDI systems, 1,4-Butanediol(BDO) provides a good balance between hardness and low temperature flexibility. 1,4-Butanediol(BDO)combines the best attributes of hydroxyl reactivity, linearity and overall system compatibility to build in the proper crystallinity required in the polyurethane hard segment.
1,4-Butanediol(BDO) is used as a chain extender for thermoplastic urethane elastomers. 1,4-Butanediol(BDO) yields crystalline urethane domains which readily melt and flow at elevated temperatures but phase separate at ambient temperatures in order to yield tough elastometric networks.
Current applications of 1,4-Butanediol(BDO)based urethane elastomers include automotive front and rear end fascia, bumpers, fenders and spoilers. Non-automotive applications include footwear, electrical enclosures, recreation equipment, appliances and furniture.
Polyester Plasticizers- 1,4-Butanediol(BDO) based polyester plasticizers impart superior compatibility with vinyl polymers while providing non-migrating characteristics. Polyesters based upon 1,4-Butanediol(BDO) have excellent oxidation resistance and good low temperature flexibility.
Copolyester Hot Melt and Solvent Borne Adhesives - 1,4-Butanediol(BDO) is a key component of copolyesters of isophthalic acid and terephthalic acid used in hot melt adhesive applications. 1,4-Butanediol(BDO) yields polyesters with excellent adhesive and cohesive strength.
· In the presence of strong acids, 1,4-Butanediol(BDO) is dehydrated to tetrahydrofuran.
· It is be kept away from heat, sparks and flame.
· Since 1,4-Butanediol(BDO) solidifies at temperatures below 19°C, appropriate storage temperatures are required.
· 1,4-Butanediol(BDO) can be shipped and stored in mild steel; however, coated tanks or stainless steel will prolong product consistency. Upon longer storage, water and iron should be avoided.
· It is to be stored under a pad of dry nitrogen.
Demand and Growth
1,4-Butanediol(BDO) demand growth is primarily driven by direct use in plastics (PBT and PU) and by indirect demand into textiles (THF through PTMEG to Spandex). Spandex is increasingly used alongside all major fiber types, as it adds stretch without upsetting the aesthetic nature of the companion yarn. PBT and PTMEG segments account for about 70% of global BDO equivalent demand.
The ultimate end user industries (e.g. automotive, construction) are projected to grow at or around GDP, the demand for plastics in these industries is significantly higher. This increase in demand is attributed primarily to changes in design and performance needs of the end use industries.