CH3CH2CH2CH2OH Boiling Point

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The CH3CH2CH2CH2OH boiling point, or 1-Butanol, is 243.9°F (117.7°C). In this article, you will learn about the CH3CH2CH2CH2OH boiling point, its proper name, its Lewis structure, and whether it’s polar or nonpolar. 

CH3CH2CH2CH2OH Boiling Point

CH3CH2CH2CH2OH possesses a relatively high boiling point when compared to other alcohols. The hydrogen bonds formed between the -OH group are the main factor in the high boiling point. These bonds require high amounts of energy to break and therefore require a great amount of heat to break down. Being a relatively large molecule for an alcohol also helps Butanol achieve its high boiling point.

2-Butanol has a lower boiling point of 212°F and 100°C. This compound lacks the strong hydrogen bonds that 1-Butanol contains and therefore takes less energy to break its bonds. Both compounds place at the top of the scale of alcohol boiling points. 

Test fluid in the flask

The Proper Name and Uses

The compound CH3CH2CH2CH2OH is known as 1-Butanol. Butanol classifies as a primary alcohol due to its attachment of a hydroxyl group to a carbon, which then connects to only one other carbon. Its brother compound 2-Butanol has the formula CH3CHCH2CH3 and is a secondary alcohol. 

Butanol forms during fermentation by solvent-producing bacteria in a process often referred to as ABE (acetone, butanol, ethanol fermentation). 

Depending on its application, butanol can classify as a solvent, fuel, intermediate liquid, or catalyst. At just 85% strength, butanol can fuel cars without any changes to the existing engine. It’s highly flammable and therefore serves as a catalyst for many chemical reactions.

Butanol – The Next Fuel?

Butanol is currently being researched as a potential biofuel, meaning it could be a naturally made fuel. As a C4-Hydrocarbon, butanol categorizes as a drop-in fuel and can work in gas vehicles without modification. It contains a higher energy density and can be produced locally, making it an attractive fuel or blending agent. Butanol also has a low vapor pressure, making a better option pollution-wise for the environment. Researchers are continuing to look into whether or not Butanol can serve as a long-term solution in replacing current gasoline options.


Lewis Structure

1-Butanol has two possible linear structures. In both cases, each carbon has four connections, each hydrogen has one, and oxygen has two. It is an organic compound and contains one hydroxyl group (a hydrogen and oxygen atom) connected to the carbon chain. When this hydroxyl group connects to the first or fourth carbon, the result is 1-Butanol. 2-Butanol forms when the hydroxyl attaches to the second or third carbon. 

Both butanols contain the exact same chemical formula, but the placement of two atoms completely changes their properties. Boiling point, melting point, and stereoisomers are all examples of properties that change due to the placement of the hydroxyl group. Butanol forms up to 5 different isometric structures, but 1 and 2 Butanol are the most commonly found forms today.

Skeletal formulas of butanol boiling point

Polar or Nonpolar

Looking at the Lewis Structure above, 1-Butanol is both polar and nonpolar. The end containing the Carbon bonds is nonpolar, while the other end with the hydroxyl group is very polar. As a result, Butanol is capable of forming up to 3 different types of intermolecular forces. London dispersion forces, Dipole-Dipole interactions, and hydrogen bonding are all possible interactions that can occur between 1-Butanol and other compounds.

The large number of intermolecular forces that 1-Butanol contains is the leading cause for many of its chemical properties. Strong forces such as hydrogen bonding and dipole-dipole interactions lead to a high boiling point. Its polar capability leads to high flammability, solvent, and catalyst traits.

number of intermolecular forces that 1-Butanol contain