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Product name tetrahydrofuran
Synonyms THF
GOST no data
CAS 109-99-9

Tetrahydrofuran is a clear, colorless, volatile, flammable liquid with a specific odor. It is miscible in most organic solvents and water. It forms azeotropes with water (94% THF by mass, bp 64°C) and hexane (46.5% THF by mass, bp 63°C). THF, as a diethyl ether, tends to form peroxides on storage. As a result, THF should not be distilled to dryness, which can leave a residue of highly-explosive peroxides. Commercial THF is subsequently inhibited with BHT or hydroquinone.Tetrahydrofuran is a heterocyclic organic compound. Some chemical reactions in the presence of Lewis acids tends to cleavage of furan cycle. Thus, THF is able to form polymers itself or with propylene oxide or ethylene oxide.


Commercially THF is produced:

  • by catalytic (Cu(CrO2)2 or Cu-Al) fufrural decarbonylation at 400-450°C followed by furan hydrogenation at 100-180°C in the presence of Ni/Cr2O3 catalyst:

    tetrahydrofuran synthesis from furfural

  • by dehydratation of 1,4-butanediol in the presence of aluminium oxide:

    HO(CH2)4OH --> THF + H2)O

  • by maleic anhydride hydrogenation;


    Tetrahydrofuran is used:

  • as an inert, aprotic, electron donating, polar solvent and reaction medium in chemical industry and organic synthesis;
  • as a solvent for cellulose esters, alkyd resins, synthetic rubber, PVC, organometallic compounds;
  • as an extracting agent;
  • to make synthetic resins;
  • to produce copolymers with ethylene oxide and propylene oxide, used as synthetic lubricating oils and for urethane elastomers;
  • as an intermediate in making pharmaceuticals (e.g. antibiotics)

  • Manufacturer(s) Kropotkinsky Chemical Plant
    Chemical structure of tetrahydrofuran

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