1,4-Butanediol: Versatile Applications in the Chemical Industry


1,4-Butanediol (BDO) is a valuable chemical compound with a wide range of applications in various industries. As a professional in the field of chemical foreign trade, I am excited to share the unique properties and diverse uses of this versatile compound.

1. Physical and Chemical Properties:

1,4-Butanediol is a colorless, odorless liquid, soluble in water and many organic solvents. Its molecular formula is C4H10O2, and it has a molecular weight of 90.12 g/mol. The boiling point of BDO is around 230°C, with a melting point of approximately 20°C. This compound exhibits good stability and can be easily synthesized through the reaction of maleic acid or maleic anhydride with acetylene derivatives.

2. Industrial Applications:

2.1. Production of Tetrahydrofuran (THF):

One of the primary uses of 1,4-Butanediol is as a precursor for the synthesis of Tetrahydrofuran (THF). THF is widely utilized as a solvent in various chemical reactions, particularly in the production of polymers and pharmaceuticals. The easy conversion of BDO to THF makes it an essential component in the manufacturing process.

2.2. Manufacture of Polyurethanes:

BDO serves as a crucial building block for the production of polyurethanes (PU), which have a broad range of applications in the automotive, construction, and furniture industries. Polyurethanes are used in the manufacturing of foams, elastomers, adhesives, and coatings. By reacting BDO with diisocyanates, such as MDI or TDI, polyurethane polymers with excellent strength and durability are formed.

2.3. Solvent and Chemical Intermediates:

Due to its excellent solubility in various organic solvents, 1,4-Butanediol is employed as a solvent in industrial processes, such as cleaning agents, paints, and coatings. Additionally, BDO can be further processed to produce a range of chemical intermediates, including gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), which is used in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, herbicides, and plastics.

3. Other Applications:

Apart from its significant role in the chemical industry, BDO finds applications in diverse fields, including:

3.1. Cosmetics and Personal Care:

1,4-Butanediol is utilized in the formulation of cosmetics and personal care products due to its excellent moisturizing properties and ability to enhance the absorption of active ingredients. It is also an essential component in the production of hair and skin care products, such as moisturizers, creams, and lotions.

3.2. Textile and Fiber Processing:

As a chemical additive, BDO is employed in the textile and fiber industries to improve the dyeing process and enhance the performance of synthetic fibers. It assists in achieving even and vibrant colors while increasing the durability and resistance of fabrics.

3.3. Electronic Industry:

In the production of printed circuit boards (PCBs) and semiconductor chips, 1,4-Butanediol is utilized as a cleaning agent and a resist remover due to its ability to dissolve organic contaminants without damaging sensitive electronic components.


1,4-Butanediol (BDO) holds immense value in the chemical industry, serving as a key intermediate for various applications. From the synthesis of Tetrahydrofuran to the manufacture of polyurethanes, solvents, and personal care products, this compound showcases its versatility and indispensable role in numerous sectors.


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