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It is mainly used as a building block in the production of polymers such as polytrimethylene terephthalate.
1,3-Propanediol can be formulated into a variety of industrial products including composites, adhesives, laminates, coatings, moldings, aliphatic polyesters, copolyesters. It is also a solvent and used as an antifreeze and in wood paint.
1,3-Propanediol may be chemically synthesized by the hydration of acrolein, or by the hydroformylation of ethylene oxide to afford 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde. The aldehyde is hydrogenated to give 1,3-propanediol.
Two other routes involve bioprocessing by certain micro-organisms:
- Conversion from corn syrup effected by a genetically modified strain of E. coli by DuPont Tate & Lyle BioProducts (See: bioseparation of 1,3-propanediol). An estimated 120,000 tons were produced in 2007". According to DuPont, the Bio-PDO process uses 40% less energy than conventional processes, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 20%., Because of DuPont and Tate & Lyle's success in developing a renewable Bio-PDO process, the American Chemical Society awarded the Bio-PDO research teams the "2007 Heroes of Chemistry" award. See also: Bioseparation of 1,3-propanediol
- Conversion from glycerol (a by-product of biodiesel production) using Clostridium diolis bacteria and Enterobacteriaceae.
1,3-Propanediol does not appear to pose a significant hazard via inhalation of either the vapor or a vapor/aerosol mixture.
- "1,3-propanediol - Compound Summary". PubChem Compound. USA: National Center for Biotechnology Information. 16 September 2004. Identification and Related Records. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
- Merck Index, 11th Edition, 9629.
- Peter Werle, Marcus Morawietz, Stefan Lundmark, Kent Sörensen, Esko Karvinen, Juha Lehtonen "Alcohols, Polyhydric" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, 2006, Weinheim.
- Carl F. Muska; Carina Alles (2005-05-11). "Biobased 1,3-Propanediol A New Platform Chemical For The 21st Century" (PDF). BREW Symposium.
- "Growing Demand for Products Manufactured from DuPont's Bio-Based Propanediol". AZoM.com. 2007-06-12.
- H. Biebl; K. Menzel; A.-P. Zeng; W.-D. Deckwer (1999). "Microbial production of 1,3-propanediol". Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 52 (3): 289–297. PMID 10531640. doi:10.1007/s002530051523.
- Scott RS, Frame SR, Ross PE, Loveless SE, Kennedy GL. (2005). "Inhalation toxicity of 1,3-propanediol in the rat". Inhal Toxicol. 17 (9): 487–93. PMID 16020043. doi:10.1080/08958370590964485.