All You Need To Know About Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol also termed as isopropanol or 2-propanol is a color-free, flammable chemical substance bearing a strong odor. The isopropyl alcohol can be easily found on hand sanitizers, rubbing alcohol, and some other cleaning products. Since the isopropyl alcohol group is linked to a hydroxyl group, it can be a very simple example of a secondary alcohol. In the case of isopropyl alcohol, the carbon atoms are generally attached to two other similar types of carbon atoms. It is also a single structural isomer of ethyl methyl ether and 1-propanol. IPA is used in the manufacturing process of a wide range of household chemicals, industrial products and is one of the most common ingredients found in disinfectants, antiseptics, and detergents.

Structure And Formula Of Isopropyl Alcohol

Now, let us discuss in brief about the chemical formula of isopropyl alcohol. The IPA or isopropyl alcohol bears a chemical formula of C3H80. Here there is a single oxygen atom, eight hydrogen atoms, and three carbon atoms. The chemical formula of the isopropyl alcohol can be noted down in different ways. Either way you write you can still see the same number of oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon atoms present.

  • C3H8O

  • C3H7OH


  • (CH3)2CHOH

The chemical formula of IPA clearly denotes how the hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon atoms are bonded together. These three atoms form a bond known as a three-carbon chain. There are two carbon atoms at each and three hydrogen atoms bonded to it. Apart from that, the carbon atom placed in the middle has one hydroxyl or OG and one hydrogen atom bonded.

Some Of The Very Common Uses Of IPA or Isopropyl Alcohol

Used In Chemical Disinfection Of Hard Surfaces: n-propyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol generally possess a very nice property as a disinfectant especially when they are in a range of 60 percent to 90 percent solutions with water. They are often considered to be intermediate level disinfectants and are very much effective against enveloped viruses, M. Tuberculosis, mycobacteria, fungi, and some vegetative bacteria. In most of the cases, alcohol is seen to be functional especially by denaturing proteins that are dependent on the relative quantity of water and alcohol. In the case of commercial formulation, a high level of isopropyl alcohol is typically seen in the form of aerosol sprays. They are sometimes used in the combination of other disinfectants in order to get better efficiency. In most cases, quaternary ammonium compounds and phenolics are added under levels below 1% to this application. IPA or isopropyl alcohol is also taken into consideration and is used as cosolvents especially in phenolic formulation, pine oil, or emulsify rapidly, upon getting diluted with water.

Helps In Preserving And Fixing Specimens: Isopropyl alcohol helps in genetic studies of specimens. In this procedure specimens that are needed for genetic studies should be preserved in 90 percent or more stronger isopropyl alcohol. Study specimens, museum-quality specimens, and other voucher specimens must be put together in a glass vial with isopropyl alcohol filling it to the top. In case the specimen quality is soft-bodied or if the volume of the specimen is equal to one-third of the alcohol volume, the isopropyl preservative must be replaced every 24 hours. In case there is a large quantity of vegetative materials such as wood debris, algae, or leaves, then the IPA preservative must be changed every six hours. The huge quantity of organic material can help in absorbing the preservative while diluting the IPA solution to a concentration level that won’t be preventing decomposition.

Hazards Caused By Isopropyl Alcohol

IPA or isopropyl alcohol surely has a lot of advantages, especially in the medical and manufacturing industry. But there are indeed some big dangers and risks associated with its usage. Here are some of the hazards that can be caused by IPA which you must know before taking its full advantage.

Isopropyl Alcohol Is Highly Flammable: IPA or isopropyl alcohol has a highly flammable property. They can easily ignite even on the slightest of fire spark. Vapors caused by isopropyl alcohol may form explosive mixtures especially when it comes in contact with air. Due to their inflammable property, they must always be kept away from sparks, flames, heat, and other ignition sources. The use of a flammable safety cabinet is the best storage option for isopropyl alcohol.

IPA Can Cause Poisoning: Another risk associated with IPA is poisoning. This mainly happens whenever a human liver isn’t capable of handling the excess amount of IPA in the body. Remember a human body can handle only a small percentage of isopropyl alcohol. Human kidneys on the other hand are known to remove around to twenty to fifty percent of IPA from a body. The remaining IPA content is then broken down to different acetones with the help of several enzymes commonly called alcohol dehydrogenases. These acetones are then thrown out of the human body through kidneys or the lungs.

Some Of The Common Side Effects Of Isopropyl Alcohol Poisoning

Isopropyl alcohol poisoning can affect the human body in several ways. Here are some of the following:

  • Stomach Pain.

  • Dizziness.

  • Low blood pressure.

  • Tachycardia or rapid heart rate.

  • Nausea.

  • Slurred speech.

  • Low body temperature.

  • Coma.

  • Seizure.

  • Unresponsive reflexes.

  • Slow breathing.

  • Throat pain and burning.

  • Vomiting.

In case any of the similar symptoms can be seen after getting exposed to IPA, immediate medical attention must be given to the patient.

If you are in need of IPA, Hbprochem can cater to it. We at Hbprochem provides the finest quality check, maintain the exact solution balance and provide the best quality isopropanol solution according to the industry standard. Get in touch with Hbprochem at to know more.

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