Isobutanol (IUPAC nomenclature: 2-methylpropan-1-ol) is an organic compound with the formula (CH3)2CHCH2OH (sometimes represented as i-BuOH). This colorless, flammable liquid with a characteristic smell is mainly used as a solvent. Its isomers, the other butanols, include n-butanol, 2-butanol, and tert-butanol, all of which are important industrially.
Isobutanol has a variety of technical and industrial applications:
Feedstock in the manufacture of isobutyl acetate, which is used in the production of lacquer and similar coatings, and in the food industry as a flavouring agent
Precursor of derivative esters; isobutyl esters such as diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP) are used as plasticizer agents in plastics, rubbers, and other dispersions
Paint additive, to reduce viscosity, improve brush flow, and retard formation of oil residues (blush) on painted surfaces
Gasoline additive, to reduce carburetor icing
Automotive polish additive
Automotive paint cleaner additive
Chemical extractant in production of organic compounds
Mobile phase in thin layer chromatography.
Isobutanol could possibly serve as an alternative to gasoline to fuel combustion engines and it is being produced by companies such as Gevo for this use in a joint venture with Cargill.A 1993 SAE technical paper addresses blending methanol, ethanol and isobutanol with unleaded gasoline for use as a motor fuel. A similar mixture is being used by Dyson Racing in the 2010 American LeMans Series. Gevo intends to acquire Agri-Energy's Luverne, Minnesota, ethanol production facility to retrofit it to produce commercial quantities of isobutanol for motor fuel.
Isobutanol could possibly serve as an alternative to gasoline to fuel combustion enginesl.