Is Tert-butanol an Alcohol?

Is Tert-butanol an Alcohol?

No, we don’t mean the kind of alcohol you stock up on for Friday Night Football or a spontaneous weekend getaway with friends. This is far from the type you want to drink. In this blog post, we’re talking about what makes some chemicals alcohol. Keep reading to learn more about why tert-butanol is an alcohol and its uses.

What makes Tert-butanol an alcohol?

Alcohols are defined based on their molecular structures. They must have at least one hydroxyl group (OH), an oxygen-hydrogen bond. The hydroxyl group must also be connected to a saturated carbon atom.

There are three types of alcohol, ranked from the simplest to the most complicated molecular bond. Here are some examples of where different alcohols fall.

  • Primary
    • Methanol
    • Ethanol
  • Secondary
    • Propanol
    • Butanol
  • Tertiary
    • Methylpropanol
    • Tert-butanol

Tert-butanol is the simplest tertiary alcohol and is a clear liquid. It’s less reactive than other forms of butanol.

Uses of Tert-butanol

Ethanol is the alcohol used in adult beverages, but tert-butanol is used as an ethanol denaturant. This means that it is added to ethanol to make it unsuitable for human consumption, including giving it an unpleasant scent.

Tert-butanol is also used as a solvent, as an octane booster for gasoline, and to manufacture perfume and fruit essences. It has even been used to extract biodiesel from cottonseed oil.

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