Propylene glycol is a common ingredient in deodorants.
Propylene, also known as propylene, is one of the most important organic compounds produced industrially. It is a gas at room temperature and is made up of three carbon atoms along with hydrogen atoms. It is a very reactive molecule as it has a double bond. Propylene has a tendency to undergo reactions in which compounds are added at room temperature. It is often used in plastics and solvents.
Propylene has a tendency to undergo reactions in which compounds are added at room temperature.
There are two ways to synthesize propylene. One is as a side effect of oil refining. The other is by a procedure called cracking, which is used to produce ethylene gas. Natural gas or straight chain gasoline is heated to extremely high temperatures with steam and produces propylene, along with ethylene and other organic compounds. It is also produced naturally from the burning of organic matter.
Polypropylene is widely used to make plastic bottles for milk, soda and other beverages.
Products synthesized from propylene include a wide variety of organic compounds. Many of them are plastic components. Some of the industrial compounds synthesized are hydrocarbon polymers. They are composed of carbon and hydrogen atoms.
An example is a group of valuable plastics such as polypropylene. It is a long-chain polymer with a methyl group, CH3, on all other carbons. The location of the methyl group compared to the next carbon affects the properties of the plastic.
Polypropylene has been used for car seat upholstery.
Polypropylene is used in packaging and in the medical field, such as in hernia patches. It is used in injection molding and fiber manufacturing. Polypropylene is very heat resistant and can be autoclaved and sterilized. This makes it very useful for medical and laboratory use.
One problem with polypropylene is that it is sensitive to ultraviolet light and degrades in the sun. Black polypropylene is more stable to UV rays and more durable for outdoor use. This makes it useful for boating ropes and plastic tarpaulins, for example.
Another propylene derivative of industrial importance is propylene oxide, a ring-closed derivative with a reactive oxygen group. It is used as an intermediate in the synthesis of other compounds, mainly polyurethane plastics. These compounds have a wide range of properties, ranging from foams to hard plastics, and their uses range from car seats to gaskets.
A smaller percentage of propylene oxide is used in the manufacture of propylene glycol (PG) and polypropylene glycol (PPG). PG can mix with water and is non-toxic. This makes it useful as a solvent in the pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries. It is used in deodorant sticks, for example.
PPG is a polymer of PG and cannot mix well with water. Along with PG, it is used as an alternative form of antifreeze to reduce its toxicity to animals. One of its main uses is in the manufacture of polyurethane plastics.
Propylene carbonate is another product of propylene oxide. It combines PG and carbonic acid to form a colorless, odorless solvent. This property makes it a useful solvent for lithium batteries. It has a variety of other industrial applications, including the formulation of cosmetics and as a plasticizer.