Isopropyl Alcohol

Definition - What does Isopropyl Alcohol mean?

Isopropyl Alcohol, also known as dimethyl carbinol or isopropanol is a flammable chemical compound that is colorless but has a very strong pungent odor. When it is mixed with water or ethanol, it completely dissolves in it. The IUPAC name for Isopropyl Alcohol is Propan-2-Ol and the chemical formula is C3H8O or C3H7OH or CH3CHOHCH3. It is commonly known as rubbing alcohol.

Petropedia explains Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol is not miscible with any salt solution, and by adding salts such as sodium chloride it can be separated from any salt solution if it comes in contact with any aqueous salt solution. This process is colloquially called salting out and causes concentrated isopropyl alcohol to separate into a distinct layer.

When mixed with water, Isopropyl Alcohol forms an azeotrope meaning that it completely mixes with water and the solution can’t be separated. This solution has a boiling point of 80 degrees Celsius and composition of 91% by volume isopropyl alcohol.

Isopropyl alcohol is also used as a solvent with oil base mud and is helpful during mud analysis. Propylene Glycol Normal Propyl Ether (PNP) is used an emulsion breaker in oil base drilling fluids.

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