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Author: Subject: tert-Butyl Alcohol
497
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tert-Butyl Alcohol

I've looked around and have been unable to find any sort of OTC source or synthesis of tert-butyl alcohol.

I would imagine it could be had by cleavage of tert-butyl methyl ether, but I haven't seen a source of that either. Are there any other easily accessible compounds that have a tert-butyl that could be cleaved? I can't think of anything off the top of my head.

I could probably buy off the internet for $30-40/ 500ml but really would rather not. panziandi National Hazard Posts: 490 Registered: 3-10-2006 Location: UK Member Is Offline Mood: Bored t-Butyl Alcohol should be easily obtained from a chemical supply house. Make some calls and ask if they are able to supply individuals. Some will and t-Butyl alcohol is not watched in any sense of the word and is not that dangerous either. If you want to prepare it however it would be possible... ...Grignard! Methyl Magnesium Halide + Acetone => t-Butyl alcohol That is assuming you can find a source of acetone, methanol + some halogenating agent, magnesium, some form of drying agent etc. Easily doable I'm sure. stoichiometric_steve International Hazard Posts: 818 Registered: 14-12-2005 Member Is Offline Mood: satyric  Quote: Originally posted by panziandi Easily doable I'm sure. Not sure if someone unable to acquire t-Butanol should attempt Grignards. panziandi National Hazard Posts: 490 Registered: 3-10-2006 Location: UK Member Is Offline Mood: Bored Possibly true! redox National Hazard Posts: 268 Registered: 22-2-2011 Location: The Land of Milk and Honey Member Is Offline Mood: Chalcogenetic Methyl t-butyl ether (MTBE) can be found in an auto store as an octane booster. I was in the store today and bought four cans (on sale for 99 cents each)! I got 1.5 liters of pure MTBE for 4 dollars! My quite small but growing Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/RealChemLabs Newest video: Synthesis of Chloroform The difference between chemists and chemical engineers: Chemists use test tubes, chemical engineers use buckets. BromicAcid International Hazard Posts: 3155 Registered: 13-7-2003 Location: Wisconsin Member Is Offline Mood: Rock n' Roll Meanwhile I recently checked several auto stores and found none. The capriciousness of chemical availability. Shamelessly plugging my attempts at writing fiction: http://www.robvincent.org hkparker International Hazard Posts: 601 Registered: 15-10-2010 Location: California, United States Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood I too have looked around for quite a while for t-BuOH with no luck and considered opening a thread on it, so I'm glad to see one open. When I looked into it a grignard reaction seemed like the best way to make it at home (though grignards are very difficult to do). It was really expensive and hard to find online. My YouTube Channel "Nothing is too wonderful to be true if it be consistent with the laws of nature." -Michael Faraday mr.crow International Hazard Posts: 884 Registered: 9-9-2009 Location: Canada Member Is Offline Mood: 0xFF Wow MTBE! Extraction solvent. If you really wanted t-butanol you could reflux this with HBr to remove the methyl ether. Then you get t-butyl bromide, reflux with NaOH or something. We are talking about tert-butanol and 2-methyl-2-butanol in the Make Potassium thread as well Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble Nicodem Super Moderator Posts: 4230 Registered: 28-12-2004 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood  Quote: Originally posted by mr.crow Wow MTBE! Extraction solvent. If you really wanted t-butanol you could reflux this with HBr to remove the methyl ether. Then you get t-butyl bromide, reflux with NaOH or something. Reaction of NaOH with t-butyl bromide (or chloride) gives isobutene, a useful compound, but a gas at room temperature. t-Butyl halides form mainly t-butanol upon solvolysis in water with acetone as cosolvent (a typical SN1 reaction thought to students and an lab exercise in kinetics). Not much of a prospect for preparative use, but might be an interesting experience in separation techniques. Otherwise, MTBE can be cleaved directly to a mixture of methanol, t-BuOH and isobutene by dilute aq. non-nucleophilic acid catalysis (e.g., H2SO4, NaHSO4, etc.). The scientific literature is full of studies in this regard, but the preparative methods are mostly described in the patent literature. MTBE reacts already with HCl, no need to use HBr. Essentially, MTBE can be used instead of t-BuOH in most SN1 reactions. gsd International Hazard Posts: 847 Registered: 18-8-2005 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood  Quote: Originally posted by Nicodem MTBE reacts already with HCl, no need to use HBr. Essentially, MTBE can be used instead of t-BuOH in most SN1 reactions. @ Nicodem (CH3)3.C.O.CH3 + 2HCl ------> (CH3)3CCl + CH3Cl + H2O Is this what you are implying? If yes then can it be done with aqueous HCl - say 30 % ? Can you please site a preparative reference? gsd mr.crow International Hazard Posts: 884 Registered: 9-9-2009 Location: Canada Member Is Offline Mood: 0xFF Quote: Originally posted by Nicodem  Quote: Originally posted by mr.crow Wow MTBE! Extraction solvent. If you really wanted t-butanol you could reflux this with HBr to remove the methyl ether. Then you get t-butyl bromide, reflux with NaOH or something. Reaction of NaOH with t-butyl bromide (or chloride) gives isobutene, a useful compound, but a gas at room temperature. t-Butyl halides form mainly t-butanol upon solvolysis in water with acetone as cosolvent (a typical SN1 reaction thought to students and an lab exercise in kinetics). Not much of a prospect for preparative use, but might be an interesting experience in separation techniques. Otherwise, MTBE can be cleaved directly to a mixture of methanol, t-BuOH and isobutene by dilute aq. non-nucleophilic acid catalysis (e.g., H2SO4, NaHSO4, etc.). The scientific literature is full of studies in this regard, but the preparative methods are mostly described in the patent literature. MTBE reacts already with HCl, no need to use HBr. Essentially, MTBE can be used instead of t-BuOH in most SN1 reactions. Thanks Nicodem, didn't know that about tert alcohols and ethers Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble MagicJigPipe International Hazard Posts: 1554 Registered: 19-9-2007 Location: USA Member Is Offline Mood: Suspicious Contrary to what some have said it is extremely difficult, for some strange reason, to find t-butanol. Methyl t-butyl ether (MTBE) is, however, very easy to find so that is always an option. If anyone needs a source for ACS Reagent MTBE online I know of at least one: about 500 mL for$20.

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Yesterday, in passing, I saw a hand sanitizer that contained T-butanol. a msds google search lists several that do.

I don't imagine it would be easy to separate from the other alcohols it's commonly mixed with...

2-Butoxyethanol Can be obtained as whiteboard cleaner, if that helps.
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I fail to see how 2-butoxyethanol has anything to do with t-butanol. Thanks for the info (it is quite common in a variety of cleaning solvents) but I just don't understand.

I think the main reason people seek t-butanol is, not because it is a 4-carbon, saturated alcohol but, because it is a tertiary alcohol. That is why 2-butoxyethanol is useless to people seeking it for that purpose.

But I see no reason why it shouldn't be mentioned--it would be bad to post that info in a new thread I guess.

"There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress." -J. Robert Oppenheimer
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I thought I saw it in the thread, I must have had a brain fart.
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 Quote: Originally posted by gsd @ Nicodem (CH3)3.C.O.CH3 + 2HCl ------> (CH3)3CCl + CH3Cl + H2O Is this what you are implying? If yes then can it be done with aqueous HCl - say 30 % ? Can you please site a preparative reference? gsd

The general SN1 substitutions of MTBE go like this (where HNu is the nucleophile):

tBu-O-Me + HNu ---(acid catalysis)---> tBuNu + MeOH

In the case of HNu = HCl:

tBu-O-Me + HCl -----> tBuCl + MeOH

Since methanol is a primary alcohol, it can not undergo SN1 reactions, though it can react under the same conditions in other ways, depending on the conditions and nature of the nucleophile and catalyst (e.g., if HNu is CH3COOH, then it can obviously get esterified, while if HNu is HI it can undergo SN2 substitution to yield methyl iodide, etc.).

A very good article describing various SN1 reactions of tBuOH, its ethers and acid catalysed reactions of other aliphatic ethers is:
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 54 (1932) 2088–2100 (DOI: 10.1021/ja01344a062). A few excerpts:
 Quote: When tert.-butyl ethyl ether and concentrated hydrochloric acid in the molecular ratio of one of the former to five of the latter are mixed the ether dissolves, but is rapidly converted into tert.-butyl chloride, which separates. When such a mixture was allowed to stand overnight 99% of the theoretical quantity of the chloride was obtained. ... There was an induction time before the chlorides separated. In order to have the results comparable zero time was taken when a measurable amount of chloride had separated-1 to 3% of the theoretical amount. ... The tertiary butyl ethers react so rapidly with concentrated hydrochloric acid at 25 °C that it was necessary to study them under different conditions.

When applying this reaction on MTBE, using a mol ratio 10 : 1 of 27% HCl(aq) vs. MTBE, the reaction reached 25% conversion in 3.5 hours at 0 °C (while ethyl t-butyl ether required only 0.83 hours and t-BuOH 1.6 hours). So the reactivity MTBE in this chlorination is twice less than that of t-BuOH, but still relatively fast and obviously very fast at room temperature.

PS: In context of another thread an advice for those that have no distillation apparatus: N-(t-butyl)acetamide is a solid at room temperature (mp 96-98°C). So, if you wander what else you can do with MTBE, do this using the Ritter reaction on acetonitrile. If you have no acetonitrile, you can use urea as the nucleophile (the patent number for Ritter reactions using urea is already posted in some other thread).

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@Nicodem

Thanks for the very detailed reply. The JACS paper is very interesting indeed.

The preparation of tBuCl from tBuOH and aqHCl is a very basic reaction one encounters in Organic Syntheses. However as anyone who has actually performed this procedure can tell, any significant yields are realized only when a) A very large excess of HCl is used or b) when the product is "salted out" of the reaction mixture by inorganic salts like CaCl2 or ZnCl2 etc.

In case of tBuCl preparation using MTBE and aqHCl will the same principle hold good? Here the matter is further complicated by presence of Methanol in aqueous phase.

gsd
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I wouldn't know, as I never performed the reaction myself. t-Butyl chloride should not have much of a solubility in aq. HCl and the fact that in the article they obtain a 99% yield with ethyl t-butyl ether which cleaves to ethanol (a better cosolvent than methanol), can only mean the solubility can not be much of an issue (or perhaps they just got an impure product, or maybe it was due to the 5-fold excess of HCl and overnight reaction time?).

The Org. Synth. note about the addition of CaCl2 giving a better yield due to salting out the product might also be an misinterpretation of the practical results. It could be that with a just 3-fold excess of HCl and 15-20 min is not enough to achieve full conversion. In such case the addition of CaCl2 would indeed drive the reaction to completion by increasing the chloride concentration and reducing the free [H2O] content. Since the additionally formed product phases out, it might wrongly appear as salting out the dissolved tBuCl, while in reality it is just converting the dissolved tBuOH to tBuCl.

Chances are the Org. Synth. procedure wasn't really optimized. Or it could be optimized only on the economical base, as it gives a cheap reagent (tBuCl) from another cheap reagent (tBuOH), but uses a severalfold excess of another cheap reagent (conc. HCl). So the economic optimal might not be using even more HCl, as it would be when starting from an expensive alcohol to give an expensive chloride.

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 Quote: Originally posted by 497 I've looked around and have been unable to find any sort of OTC source or synthesis of tert-butyl alcohol. I would imagine it could be had by cleavage of tert-butyl methyl ether, but I haven't seen a source of that either. Are there any other easily accessible compounds that have a tert-butyl that could be cleaved? I can't think of anything off the top of my head. I could probably buy off the internet for $30-40/ 500ml but really would rather not. Ullmann's 5th sez — 2-Methy-2-propanol ... In the literature a number of other methods for the preparation of butanol are cited which are generally of no significance other than for laboratory preparation. A comprehensive review is to be found in .... B Cornils & E Zilly Methodicum chimicum: a critical survey of proven methods and their application in chemistry, natural science, and medicine. Vol. 5 (1975) p. 84 Byda Ullmann also notes that — prod. of propylene oxide yields one ton per 1.2 t of propylene oxide. Must be a SL of it out there. Neil International Hazard Posts: 556 Registered: 19-3-2008 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood This page http://www.fuel-testers.com/review_gas_treatment_products.ht... Lists "Turbo Octane Boost 180" which claims T-Butanol and methanol as the ingredients While http://www.chemcas.com/msds112/cas/1666/124-38-9_75-65-0_106... Lists a brake cleaner composed of "carbon dioxide tert-butyl alcohol, tert-butanol 1,2-butylene oxide methylal (dimethoxymethane) perchloroethylene (tetrachloroethylene) methyl chloroform" Squall181 Harmless Posts: 46 Registered: 21-2-2011 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood So I found some octane booster(Spectrum Plus @ K-mart) that is made with methyl-t-butyl ether. So i decided to buy and try to distill the ether off. I set up for basic distillation and turned on the heat. To my surprise the liquid is refusing to boil. So after a while I decided to take the temp of the liquid, while the still head was reading 30C the liquid in the flask was at about 120C. Unfortunately I was unable to locate an MSDS for this product. Does anyone have any ideas on what's happening here, what other ingredient could be increasing the boiling point of the liquid. I'm about ready to give up on trying to make it boil. Takron Harmless Posts: 47 Registered: 19-5-2010 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood  Quote: Originally posted by Nicodem Otherwise, MTBE can be cleaved directly to a mixture of methanol, t-BuOH and isobutene by dilute aq. non-nucleophilic acid catalysis (e.g., H2SO4, NaHSO4, etc.) If this cleavage was done, would one separate the t-BuOH from the rest by cooling it? The t-BuOH would crystalize and the rest cold be poured off right? Dr.Bob International Hazard Posts: 2506 Registered: 26-1-2011 Location: USA - NC Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood  Quote: Originally posted by Takron If this cleavage was done, would one separate the t-BuOH from the rest by cooling it? The t-BuOH would crystalize and the rest cold be poured off right? The t-butanol may not freeze into pure crystals from a mixture of solvents. While it readily freezes when pure, once you mix several liquids together, it is much harder to remove one by freezing it. Distilling them would likely work much better, then you could certainly freeze the crude t-BuOH distillate to try to repurify it by crystallization, and then pour off the non-solid material once ~90% has frozen. shadow Hazard to Self Posts: 52 Registered: 17-10-2007 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood I don't get it. Carolina Biological------ 500ml -----$12.95

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 Quote: Originally posted by shadow I don't get it. Carolina Biological------ 500ml -----\$12.95 http://www.carolina.com/p2p/endecaSearch.do?pageName=Home+Page&keyword=tert+butyl+alcohol&Search.x=0&Search.y=0[/url]

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