Everything You Need to Know About Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol is the most common organic compound belonging to the alcohol family. It is widely used as a commercial, medical, and industrial solvent, and intermediate in the production of chemicals. It was first manufactured in the year 1920 as a petrochemical product, since then, it is used in a wide range of industrial applications for manufacturing purposes. It is also used as a disinfectant, due to which its market is immensely growing during COVID-19 pandemic.

The increasing use of isopropyl alcohol as a solvent and chemical intermediate has led to an increase in the global production of the chemical. The worldwide production of isopropyl alcohol is increasing at an exponential rate over the last few years. The market which was valued at $2.65 billion in 2019 is expected to increase multiple fold by the end of 2025.

You can now buy isopropyl alcohol online only on Carbanio.com. Carbanio is India’s largest online chemical bazaar connecting chemical buyers and sellers under one roof, thereby, easing the tedious process of chemical procurement.

Formula & Structure

Isopropyl alcohol is an organic compound with chemical formula CH3CHOHCH3. It is a colorless, flammable liquid with a sharp musty odor. The IUPAC name is propan-2-ol, and it is also commonly known as isopropanol or 2-propanol. It is the simplest secondary alcohol where the isopropyl group is attached to the hydroxyl group.

Structure of isopropyl alcohol can be shown as:

Isopropyl alcohol is produced by three popular methods – direct hydration of propylene, indirect hydration of propylene, and catalytic hydrogenation of acetone. In direct hydration process, isopropyl alcohol is synthesized by combining propene(C3H6) and water with sulfuric acid as a catalyst. This is a two-step process, firstly, propylene reacts with sulfuric acid to yield Mono isopropyl and Di isopropyl sulfates, while the second step involves the hydrolysis of these intermediate products to give isopropyl alcohol.

Direct hydration of propylene is a single step process where solid acidic catalysts are reacted with propylene and water at high pressure, which gives a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water. The mixture is further put for distillation to get isopropyl alcohol. Direct hydration is usually preferred over indirect process as it is comparatively less corrosive.

Isopropyl alcohol can be produced by reduction of acetone using catalytic hydrogenation. Catalytic hydrogenation is completed by reacting acetone with hydrogen gas under high pressure. A metal catalyst is preferred for this reaction; most commonly used catalysts include palladium, Raney nickel, or ruthenium.

Properties of Isopropyl Alcohol

The important physical and chemical properties of isopropyl alcohol include:

Physical properties

The common characteristics of isopropyl alcohol are:

AppearanceClear, colorless liquid
OdorUnpleasant like ethyl alcohol
Specific Density786 kg/m³
Boiling Point82.6 °C (180.7 °F; 355.8 K)
Melting Point−89 °C (−128 °F; 184 K)
Specific heat2.68 J/(gK)
Solubility             Completely soluble in water

Chemical properties

The following chemical properties are exhibited by isopropyl alcohol.


Isopropyl alcohol reacts with bromine in a highly complex manner to yield brominated acetones and isopropyl bromide. The reaction can be summarized as follows:

C3H7OH             ➝                               BrCH2COCBr3 + CH3CH(Br)CH3

Isopropyl alcohol     (in presence of bromine)        brominated acetone    isopropyl bromide


Isopropyl alcohol can decompose into acetone and hydrogen gas. The reaction can be depicted as below:

C3H7OH                   ➝              C3H6O+ H2

Isopropyl Alcohol   (Decomposition)     Acetone      Hydrogen gas


Isopropyl alcohol like other alcohols undergo oxidation in the presence of an oxidizing agent to produce aldehydes and ketones. This undergoes further oxidation to yield carboxylic acids.

  Alcohol          Aldehyde                              Aldehyde hydrate          Carboxylic acid


Alcohols undergo dehydration, the process of removing water molecules, when treated with protic acids. The reaction can be shown as follows:

Alcohol                                                                          Alkene mixture

Products of Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol has a diverse range of applications that includes:

  • Manufacturing of paints and varnishes
  • Manufacturing of cement and primer
  • Production of cosmetics
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Skin and hair products
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Soap
  • Dye solution
  • Perfumes
  • Antifreezes
  • Fuel additive for gas dryers
  • Glass cleaner
  • Jewelry cleaner
  • Stain removers
  • Household disinfectants
  • Coating solvent
  • A popularly used solvent in a wide range of reaction
  • Intermediate for a wide range of industrial and medical processes
  • Used as for medical purposes for sanitizing and disinfecting
  • It is used as a solution to preserve specimens in laboratories

The above list is the popular uses of isopropyl alcohol; however, an elaborate list is inexhaustible.

Top Manufacturers of Isopropyl Alcohol

The key players in the global isopropyl alcohol industry:

  • Dow Chemical
  • INEOS Corporation
  • Linde Gas
  • Mistral Industrial Chemicals
  • LyondellBasell Industries
  • ReAgent Chemicals Ltd.
  • Ecolab
  • ExxonMobil Corporation
  • Royal Dutch Shell

Buy Isopropyl Alcohol Online in India?

Isopropyl alcohol can be easily bought from a local chemical manufacturer, supplier, or dealer. Since, it is a commonly used solvent, the availability is easy. However, the same is not true for all kinds of chemical purchase in India. With a nearly $300 billion market, the Indian chemical industry still strives hard when it comes to chemical sourcing. The use of obsolete trends holds back this massive industry to perform at its best. The introduction of digitization is slowly changing this trend, and the future looks quiet promising. Digital platforms for chemical sourcing are streamlining the procurement process, making it easy for both the buyers and sellers.

Carbanio is India’s first and largest chemical bazaar with more than 8 million chemicals already listed from verified suppliers. Since its establishment, Carbanio’s only aim was to make the chemical procurement easy by filling in the gap that arise when you are looking to buy or sell a chemical. This is an online, chemical portal to suit the requirements of the new generation. Here, the chemicals are listed out by the suppliers, who are thoroughly verified by Carbanio’s authentication process. The buyer can choose the chemicals he is looking for as per his requirement – purity, quantity, cost, and location. Ones, the order is place, the buyer can make a secured online payment and complete the order. The chemical will reach the buyer on the estimated date, without fail. With so many benefits, why not change your chemical sourcing to digital platforms? Buy chemical online only on Carbanio