Butyl Alcohol

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What is Butyl Alcohol?

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There is hardly any industry in the world that is not dependent on chemical compounds, and alcohol is the leader of the lot. There are many types of alcohol present in the world and thus there are various uses of this chemical substance. It is used for heating, cooling, production, cleaning, mixing, and many other industries. The development in this segment of science is going on at such a rapid rate that we are seeing more and more alcohol-based products coming up in the market which is being used for manufacturing.  The most popular alcohol in terms of industrial usage is butyl alcohol. 

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Types of Butyl Alcohol 

Tba- Tert Butyl Alcohol 

Tba alcohol is one of the simplest types of alcohol. It falls under the umbrella of butyl alcohol isomers. It is among the four major types in butyl. This colourless liquid is used as a solvent and cleaner. It is also used as a base for compounds like methanol, ethanol, and tert butyl hydroxide.

Secondary Butyl Alcohol

Known as sec-butyl, this is another alcohol isomer in this category. It is derived from the two isomers of butane. This compound has got several uses as well. It works on the lines of tert alcohol and has got similar characteristics.  


This is the third type of normal butyl alcohol. It is a colourless liquid and gives out a strong ester smell. It has got a lot of industrial uses which are explained below. 

Tertiary Butyl Alcohol

It is the last isomer in this category. This compound is used as solvents and denaturing agents. It is made using isobutylene, which is, in turn, developed using isobutyl.  

Industrial Usage of Butyl Alcohol

Butyl alcohol is used as a biofuel due to its advantages over traditional bioethanol. It is also being tested for completing the processes of fermentation and separation in a waste management refinery. 

Scientists are exploring the benefits of butyl alcohol in terms of it being used as the fuel of the future. The idea is to develop this fuel as an algae-based energy source. It will be replenishable and will have less carbon emission as compared to other fuels. It is being seen as a direct substitute for gasoline as well. Tba Tert Butyl alcohol is being used as a substitute for gasoline in some automobiles for its inherent qualities of low water solubility. 

Tert butyl cyclohexanol is used by manufacturers while making air fresheners and fragrance products. Apart from that this category of Butyl alcohol is also used to make food additives, colour paints, and washing products.  It is also used as an inert ingredient in making pesticides. 

Scientists and manufacturers are coming up with new usage of this alcohol every day. With the advancement of research and experiments, this category of alcohol is going to gain more importance in the commercial manufacturing segment. 

Pricing of Butyl Alcohol

The Asia Pacific region faced a heavy shortage of this category of butyl alcohol in the last quarter of 2020. The industry faced a heavy crunch of this chemical due to the ban on the import and export for the pandemic. The tert butyl alcohol price took a bit of hike in the last segment of the year and it was rated 90 Rs/ltr. 

Europe faced a crunch of this chemical in the Oct-Nov 2020 period. However, they did not face a hike in the prices of this chemical because they had enough storage plus they have an enormous capacity of producing this category of alcohol. 

The USA had a steady market for this category of alcohol. They did not face any crunch even in the year 2020. The USA has the biggest reserves for this as well as they have a good production capacity as well. 

The world is still going to face a shortage of Butyl alcohol, especially in the Asia-pacific region. The second wave of COVID-19 has hit several countries and the restrictions are coming back. The production is going to take a toll again and the industries have not stored it in good amounts as well. This region has been completely dependent on the import of para-tertiary butyl cyclohexanol and tba tertiary butyl alcohol. 

Did You Know? 

The biggest use of alcohol is for intoxicating beverages. Beers, whiskeys, and other types of beverages are made using the alcoholic compound known as ethanol. There are around 30 variants of this compound and they have uses that cannot ever be limited to a particular number. New uses of this chemical compound are being discovered every other day. The alcoholic beverage industry is the biggest consumer of this compound. Apart from that, many scientific processes can never be completed without the help of this compound. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Is Butyl Alcohol Toxic to the Human Body?

Ans: All 4 isomers of butyl alcohol are known to be toxic to the human body. Several cases have come in front of the doctors of skin diseases and eye irritation due to the Sec and tert butyl alcohol. Hence, while using this type of alcohol one has to carefully handle it. There are proper guidelines and safety precautions are employed in the industry while using this category of alcohol. This being an important part of the industry, its usage can never be stopped. The only thing that needs to be done is to use this compound with utmost care and precaution. 

2. Will Butyl Alcohol Ever Prove to Be a Good Substitute For Fuel?

Ans: There are multiple cases of research going on in the scientific world wherein its properties are being tested to convert it into a proper fuel. As already mentioned this alcohol is already being used as a substitute for gasoline. Apart from that, it is being converted into a proper degradable fuel which will be very less harmful to the environment as compared to the normal fuels. It is just a matter of a few more years and we will be seeing this chemical to be used as a proper fuel. Since the world is facing a crisis of natural fuels, these chemical alternatives can be a great substitute.