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Isopropanol Alcohol Vs. Isopropyl Alcohol

Updated April 17, 2017

Isopropanol alcohol is synonymous with Isopropyl Alcohol. There is no difference in the chemical composition of the compound. The chemical formula is (CH3)2CHOH. It is most commonly known as rubbing alcohol.

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Isopropanol and isopropyl alcohol are different names for the same chemical compound. The confusion comes from mixing two standards for naming chemicals. Isopropanol is misnomer. The suffix "ol" is part of the IUPAC system of nomenclature while the prefix "iso" is part of the common system of nomenclature. The correct name under the IUPAC system is Propan-2-ol. Isopropyl alcohol is correct under the common naming system.

Physical & Chemical Properties

Isopropyl alcohol is a clear flammable liquid at room temperature. The odour resembles that of drinking alcohol. It is miscible with water. The melting point is -88 degrees Celsius and its boiling point is 108 degrees Celsius.

Applications and Usage

Isopropyl alcohol is commonly use as a solvent. Paints and other colouring often contain it as one of the ingredients. It is used in many household items and it is common in personal care items as well. It is the active ingredient in rubbing alcohol for topical disinfecting.

Safety & Toxicology

Vapour from isopropyl alcohol is flammable and should be kept away from heat sources. Consumption, inhalation and absorption of isopropyl alcohol leads to poisoning. Work in a well ventilated area and wear gloves to prevent isopropyl alcohol poisoning.

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About the Author

Samantha Anderson was first published in 2005. Her press releases and news briefs were available on her employer's internal proprietary website and she maintains a personal beauty and fashion blog. Anderson graduated from the University of Florida in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in business and public relations.

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