tert-Butyl alcohol (TBA), also called tert-butanol, is the simplest tertiary alcohol, with a formula of (CH3)3COH (sometimes represented as t-BuOH). It is one of the four isomers of butanol. tert-Butyl alcohol is a colorless solid, which melts near room temperature and has a camphor-like odor. It is miscible with water, ethanol and diethyl ether.
Tert-Butanol is used as a solvent, as a denaturant for ethanol, as an ingredient in paint removers, as an octane booster for gasoline, as an oxygenate gasoline additive, and as an intermediate in the synthesis of other chemical commodities such as MTBE, ETBE, TBHP, other flavors and perfumes.
It is mainly important for its solvent power. It is used for the removal of water from substances, in the extraction of drugs,in the manufacture of perfumes (particularly as an important raw material for the preparation of artificial musk), in the recrystallization of chemicals, and as a chemical intermediate (e.g., in the manufacture of tert-butyl chloride and of tert-butyl phenol). It is an authorized denaturant for ethyl alcohol and for several specially denatured alcohols.
Catalytic rehydration of tert-butanol is carried out to obtain isobutylene, and it has been patented for use as a gasoline antiknock agent. Moreover, it is used in the purification of polyolefins, for the separation of solids from coal liquids, and as blowing agent for the manufacture of imide group-containing foams from copolymers of methacrylonitrile and methacrylic acid.