Lyondell is the world's second-largest manufacturer of 1,4-Butanediol (BDO).
BDO is used as a cross-linking agent for thermoplastic urethanes, polyester plasticizers, paints and coatings, copolyester hot melt and solvent-borne adhesives.
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Benefits and Applications
1,4-BDO is a versatile chemical intermediate because of its terminal, primary hydroxyl groups and its hydrophobic and chemical resistant nature. Polymers produced upon reaction with diacids or diisocyanates are the basis for many commercial polyurethane and polyester applications.
Thermoplastic Polyesters. 1,4-BDO is used to manufacture polybutylene terephthalate (PBT). PBT's high strength, excellent thermal stability and good durability lead to its many uses in the automotive, electrical and appliance industries. PBT is also compatible with several other thermoplastics with several other thermoplastics which enables a compounder to tailor a polymer alloy to an end user's specifications.
1,4-BDO is a key component of thermoplastic copolyester elastomers. These elastomers rely upon 1,4-BDO to provide crystallinity which in turn provides elasticity and resilience to these terephthalate based polyesters.
Polyesters. In polyurethane applications, 1,4-BDO is primarily used as a component of polyesters or as a chain extender. For example, polyesters such as poly (butylene adipate) diols are formulated into urethane elastomers with excellent oil, chemical and UV resistance. In addition, these materials have good mechanical properties over a broad temperature range, as well as good flex and abrasion resistance. As a chain extender with MDI systems, 1,4-BDO provides a good balance between hardness and low temperature flexibility. On comparison to other diols, 1,4-BDO combines the best attributes of hydroxyl reactivity, linearity and overall system compatibility to build in the proper crystallinity required in the polyurethane hard segment. Also, the 1,4-BDO/MDI systems provide a lower exposure hazard than MOCA/TDI systems.
1,4-BDO is used as a chain extender for thermoplastic urethane elastomers. 1,4-BDO yields crystalline urethane domains which readily melt and flow at elevated temperatures but phase separate at ambient temperatures in order to yield tough elastometric networks.
Cast urethane elastomers continue to be a major end use of 1,4-BDO because of overall consistency and reliability.
Urethane RIM elastomers using 1,4-BDO allow design freedom and parts consolidation with large, complex shapes.
Current applications of 1,4-BDO based urethane elastomers include automotive front and rear end fascia, bumpers, fenders and spoilers. Non-automotive applications include footwear, electrical enclosures, recreation equipment, appliances and furniture.
Polyester Plasticizers. 1,4-BDO based polyester plasticizers impart superior compatibility with vinyl polymers while providing non-migrating characteristics. In addition, polyesters based upon 1,4-BDO have excellent oxidation resistance and good low temperature flexibility.
Copolyester Hot Melt and Solvent Borne Adhesives. 1,4-BDO is a key component of copolyesters of isophthalic acid and terephthalic acid used in hot melt adhesive applications. 1,4-BDO yields polyesters with excellent adhesive and cohesive strength.
Prohibited Applications of 1,4-Butanediol (BDO)
The use of LyondellBasell 1,4-Butanediol (BDO) in the following applications is prohibited:
- Cosmetics, toiletries, personal care products
- Applications involving human consumption
- Coatings on toys
1,4-BDO is a non-corrosive, colorless, high-boiling point liquid with a low order of toxicity under normal handling and use conditions. 1,4-BDO is completely soluble in water, most alcohols, esters, ketones, glycol ethers and acetates, but may be immiscible or partially miscible in common aliphatic and aromatic/chlorinated hydrocarbons.
Not listed as a carcinogen by IARC, NTP, OSHA, or ACGIH. Exposure limits for 1,4-BDO have not been established by OSHA and ACGIH.
For more safety/health information, please refer to Lyondell's MSDS or specific Product Storage & Handling Guide.
Storage and Handling
In the presence of strong acids, 1,4-BDO is dehydrated to tetrahydrofuran.
Keep away from heat, sparks and flame.
Since 1,4-BDO solidifies at temperatures below 19°C, appropriate storage temperatures are required; however, reliquefaction does not alter its properties.
1,4-BDO can be shipped and stored in mild steel; however, coated tanks or stainless steel will prolong product consistency. Upon longer storage, water and iron should be avoided. It is also advisable to store under a pad of dry nitrogen. Keep container tightly closed.
Note: Despite its importance as an industrial chemical, 1,4-Butanediol (BDO) has become increasingly regulated in the United States, Europe, Asia and other jurisdictions due to its unlawful use, directly or indirectly, as a precursor substance to Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (“GHB”), a drug of abuse. As such, many countries, states and localities have imposed regulations on the sale, distribution and use of BDO. These regulations can vary widely from jurisdiction-to-jurisdiction. To ensure Lyondell Chemical Company meets is regulatory obligations and fulfills its product stewardship expectations, all requests for BDO are carefully screened and we require all customers to submit an End Use Declaration annually. Lyondell Chemical Company will report suspicious or unusual product orders or sample requests to appropriate law enforcement officials. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Lyondell Chemical Company sales representative.