Tetrahydrofuran (THF)

Tetrahydrofuran (THF) is a liquid, organic compound that is classified specifically as a cyclic ether. THF is primarily used as a precursor to polymers. Since it is polar with a wide liquid range, it is a versatile solvent.



THF is a colorless, water-miscible, low viscosity, heterocyclic compound with the molecular formula C4H8O and CAS 109-99-0. THF is highly flammable. Considering its remarkable solvent properties, it can penetrate the skin and cause rapid dehydration. Although it is recognized as relatively non-toxic, it readily dissolves latex and is generally handled wearing nitrile or neoprene rubber gloves.

THF converts to a linear polymer called poly (tetramethylene ether) glycol (PTMEG). This polymer is mostly used to manufacture elastomeric polyurethane fibers like Spandex.

THF is also used as an industrial solvent for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and in the manufacture of varnishes. In the laboratory, it is a widely used solvent when its water miscibility is not an issue.

Additionally, THF is frequently used in polymer science. i.e., It can be used to dissolve polymers before determining their molecular mass using gel permeation chromatography. THF also dissolves PVC. Consequently, it is the main ingredient in PVC adhesives. It can liquefy old PVC cement and is frequently used industrially to degrease metal parts.

Industrial uses for THF include adhesives and sealant chemicals; intermediates; laboratory chemicals; processing aids specific to petroleum production; and solvents.

THF is manufactured by catalytic hydrogenation of maleic anhydride. According to the Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, approximately 200,000 tons of tetrahydrofuran are produced annually.

For packaging and shipping lead time information for Tetrahydrofuran (THF),  contact The Chemical Company today.


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