Isopropyl Alcohol, also known
as IPA is a clear, colorless liquid with a characteristic acetone-like odor. It
is an organic compound with the formula (CH3)2CH(OH) and
boiling point 82.5 °C. IPA is highly inflammable under high pressure. Therefore,
it is used under good ventilation and away ignition sources.
Isopropyl alcohol can be
manufactured by two processes:
1. Direct Hydration: It is a single step process in which
propene reacts with water at high pressure in the presence of some acidic
catalyst to form isopropyl alcohol.
Hydration: It is a two steps process. Firstly, propene reacts with sulfuric acid to
form a mixture of sulphate esters. Then, the esters undergo hydrolysis to form
Isopropyl alcohol is mainly used as a
solvent for coating industry or for various other industrial process. It can
dissolved a large number of compounds, evaporates quickly and is non-toxic
compared to other solvents. Dry acrylic paint is difficult to remove from solid
surface so IPA is used to clean paint, other oil based products, electronic
items such as lenses of laser, floppy disc etc.
Isopropyl alcohol is used in
purification processes of organic materials in pharmaceutical products. It is
also used as a gasoline additive. It is even used in personal care products.