Isopropanol Alcohol and Isopropyl Alcohol


Firstly, Isopropanol alcohol and isopropyl alcohol are the same things. Just having different names. Whenever we get some minor cuts or wounds, we usually rub alcohol over it.

Along with, it is a must-have in the first aid kits we usually have. The isopropanol or we can say the isopropyl alcohol is most popularly known as alcohol.

We use this alcohol for rubbing. Apart from this, it also has various other uses.

Definition of Isopropanol 

The isopropanol or the isopropyl is a colourless and flammable liquid. Moreover, it is a volatile liquid as well. When we keep it open for a while, as a result, it evaporates very soon.

As an isopropanol group linked to a hydroxyl group, it is a very simple example of a secondary alcohol.


Moreover, in this case, the alcohol carbon atom can attach to the two other carbon atoms. It is a structural isomer of 1-propyl and ethyl methyl ether.

We use it in the manufacturing of a huge variety of industrial and household chemicals. It is a common ingredient in the chemicals, for example, antiseptics, disinfectants, and the detergents.

We also call it as 2-propanol, sec-propyl alcohol, isopropanol or IPA. The IUPC considers isopropanol as an incorrect name as the hydrocarbon isopropanol is missing.

Properties of Isopropanol 

It is miscible inside the water, ether, chloroform, and ethanol also. It dissolves ethylcellulose, polyvinyl butyral, alkaloids, many oils, gums, and natural resins.

Differing from the ethanol or methanol, isopropyl alcohol is not miscible with the solution of salts.

We can also separate it from the aqueous solutions by addition of salt like the sodium chloride (NaCl). This whole process is colloquially termed as salting out.

Moreover, it also causes concentrated isopropyl alcohol for separating into a distinct layer.

The isopropyl alcohols make an azeotrope with the water that provides a boiling point of 80.37 degree Celsius i.e. 176.67 degrees F and a composition of 87.7 wt% (91 vol%) isopropyl alcohol. Water-isopropyl alcohol mixtures consist of depressed melting points.

It has a little bitter taste and is not safe for drinking. The isopropyl alcohol becomes increasingly viscous with the decrease in the temperature and freezes at -89 degree C i.e. -128 degree F. it has a maximum absorbance at 205 nm in the ultraviolet-visible spectrum.


We can oxidize the isopropyl alcohol to acetone, which is the corresponding ketone. It is achievable by using oxidizing agents such as chromic acid, or by dehydration of isopropyl alcohol over a copper catalyst that is heated:

(CH3)2CHOH (CH3)2CO+H2

Isopropyl alcohol is useful as both solvent and hydride as well as a source in the Meerwein-Ponndrof-Verley reduction and other transfer hydrogenation reactions.

The isopropyl alcohol might get convert into 2-bromopropane using phosphorus tribromide, or dehydrated to propene by heating it with the sulphuric acid.

Moreover, likewise the most alcohols, the isopropyl alcohol reacts with active metals such as the potassium to alkoxides which we can call isopropoxides.

The reaction with the aluminium comes in use for preparing the catalyst aluminium isopropoxide.

Production of Isopropanol 

In the year 1994, 1.5 million tonnes of isopropyl alcohol was made in the US, Japan, and Europe. The combining water and the propane primarily produce it in a hydration reaction or by hydrogenating acetone.

The isopropyl alcohol and the water together form an azeotrope. Moreover, the simple distillation provides a material that is 87.9% by weight isopropyl alcohol and 12.1% by weight water.

Solved Question For You

Ques. Among them, which one is the least acidic?

(A). Phenol.
(B). O-cresol.
(C). p-nitrophenol.
(D). p- chlorophenol.

Ans. (B). O-cresol.

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