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Tetrahydrofuran is an organic compound with the formula (CH₂)₄O. The compound is classified as heterocyclic compound, specifically a cyclic ether. It is a colorless, water-miscible organic liquid with low viscosity.
Boiling point: 150.8°F (66°C)
Molar mass: 72.11 g/mol
Density: 889 kg/m³
Melting point: -163.1°F (-108.4°C)
IUPAC ID: Oxolane
Tetrahydrofuran (THF, oxolane) is a versatile solvent used in laboratory organic synthesis and in industrial products such as varnishes. It is colorless and miscible in water, with a boiling point of 66 ºC. It is highly flammable but relatively nontoxic. When stored in air, it can form explosive peroxides, but this can be prevented by adding an inhibitor such as butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT).
In 1956, W. W. Gilbert and B. W. Howk at Du Pont patented the catalytic hydrogenation of maleic anhydride to produce THF. Du Pont later patented a process for hydrogenating furan to THF. Today the predominant THF manufacturing process is the acid-catalyzed dehydration of 1,4-butanediol.
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