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Tetrahydrofuran, the abbreviation of THF, is a heterocyclic organic compound. It belongs to ethers and is the fully hydrogenated product of the aromatic compound furan.
Tetrahydrofuran can be used as an aprotic solvent with moderate polarity in chemical reaction and solvent extraction. Tetrahydrofuran is a colorless, low viscosity liquid with a similar smell as ether. At room temperature, tetrahydrofuran is partially miscible with water. This is exploited by some of the illegal businessmen for mixing water with tetrahydrofuran reagent to earn huge profits. Upon storage, tetrahydrofuran can easily become peroxide, and therefore, the commercialized tetrahydrofuran often used BHT, i.e., 2,6-tert butyl p-cresol for preventing oxidation. Tetrahydrofuran can be placed into sealed bottle through sodium hydroxide for being stored in a dark place.
1. Tetrahydrofuran can be used as the solvent and the raw material of organic synthesis.
2. Tetrahydrofuran can also be used as the chromatography analysis reagents, organic solvents and the intermediate of nylon 66.
3. Tetrahydrofuran is the intermediate for synthetic pesticides fenbutatin. In addition, it can be directly used for synthetic fibers, synthetic resins, synthetic rubber as well as the solvent of many polymeric materials, precision tape and electroplating industry. Moreover, it is also used for preparation of adiponitrile, adipic acid, hexamethylene diamine, succinic acid, butanediol, and γ-butyrolactone. In the pharmaceutical industry, it can be used for the production of carbetapentane, progesterone, rifamycin and pharmaceutical solvents.
4. Tetrahydrofuran is an important raw material for organic synthesis as well as a solvent with excellent performance, which is especially suitable for dissolution of PVC, polyvinylidene chloride and butyl aniline. It is widely used as surface coating, anti-corrosion coatings, printing inks, the solvent of tapes and films paint, and also being used as the reaction solvent. When being used as the electroplate aluminum solution, it can randomly control the thickness as well as brightness of aluminum layer. THF itself can be subject to condensation (caused by the ring-open reaction induced by cation and further polymerization) to generate poly-tetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG). PTMEG, together with toluene diisocyanate (TDI) can generate special rubber of wear-resistant, oil resistance, excellent performance at low temperature as well as high strength; it can also generate block polyether/polyester elastic material with dimethyl terephthalate and 1, 4-butanediol. PTMGE of Molecular weight being 2000, together with methylene bis (4-phenyl) diisocyanate (MDI) can generate polyurethane elastic fiber (SPANDEX fiber), special rubber and the raw material of some kinds of coatings of special purpose. In the field of organic synthesis, it can be used for producing tetrahydrothiophene, 1, 4-dichloroethane, 2, 3-dichloro-tetrahydrofuran, valerolactone, butyrolactone and pyrrolidone. In the pharmaceutical industry, THF can be used for the synthesis of carbetapentane, rifamycin, progesterone, and some kinds of hormone drugs. THF, after being subject to hydrogen sulfide treatment, can generate tetrahydrothiophene. It can be used as the odor agent (identification additive) in fuel gas. THF can also be used as the surface treatment agent for synthetic leather.
5. It can also be applied to the paper chromatography of amino acids and peptides. It can be used as solvent; for organic synthesis as well as being applied to HPLC and UV spectrophotometry assay.