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Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 109999
CASRN 109-99-9
SynonymsTetrahydrofuran
Furan, tetrahydro-
Analytical Method EPA Method 524.2
Molecular FormulaC4H8O

Link to the National Library of Medicine's Hazardous Substances
Database for more details on this compound.

Use REACTION MEDIUM FOR METAL HYDRIDE REACTIONS; IN HISTOLOGICAL TECHNIQUES IN SYNTHESIS OF BUTYROLACTONE, SUCCINIC ACID, 1,4-BUTANEDIOL DIACETATE IN FABRICATION OF ARTICLES FOR PACKAGING, TRANSPORTING & STORING FOODS SOLVENT FOR FAT OILS, UNVULCANIZED RUBBER; FOR MAKING ADIPIC ACID As an indirect food additive, THF may be safely used as an adjuvant substance in the preparation of resinous and polymeric coatings for polyolefin films. Used as the food contact surface of articles intended for use in food processing. SOLVENT FOR RESINS & PLASTICS-EG, POLYVINYL CHLORIDE CHEM INT FOR POLYTETRAMETHYLENE GLYCOL CHEM INT FOR TETRAHYDROTHIOPHENE SOLVENT FOR COATING MAGNETIC TAPES & FOR CLEANING AGENT IN LIQUID MEMBRANE ELECTRODE MFR POLYMERIZATION SOLVENT-EG, FOR POLYISOPRENE CHEM INT FOR ADIPONITRILE (FORMER USE) Solvent in preparation of printing inks, adhesives, lacquers, and other coatings; Grignard reagent in synthesis of motor fuels, vitamins, hormones, pharmaceuticals, synthetic perfumes, organometallic compounds, and insecticides. Solvent for top coating solutions, protective coatings, printing inks, etc Solvent for production of tetraethyl and tetramethyl lead Tetrahydrofuran is one of the typical phase change materials (PCMs) which is used for air conditioning by its latent solar-heat storage power Tetrahydrofuran can be used as a Lewis base to moderate the extreme reactivity of Sulfur trioxide
Consumption Patterns Resin solvent 40%, Chemical Int 40%, Grignard reaction solvent 20%. SOLVENT FOR RESINS, 40%; CHEMICAL INTERMEDIATE, 40%; REACTION SOLVENT, 20% (1977) Polytetrahydrofuran, 68%; coating solvent, 23%; other (reaction solvent, thiophane), 9% (1983)
Apparent Color COLORLESS, MOBILE LIQUID
Odor ETHER-LIKE ODOR ; FAINT FRUITY ODOR
Boiling Point 66 DEG C @ 760 MM HG
Melting Point -108.5 deg C
Molecular Weight 72.11
Density 0.8892 @ 20 DEG C/4 DEG C
Odor Threshold Concentration 20-50 ppm 7.3-10.2 mg/cu m (recognition in air) Low: 7.37 mg/cu m; High: 177.0 mg/cu m From table
Sensitivity Data Strong irritant to skin & mucous membranes Vapor: Irritating to eyes, nose and throat. Liquid: Irritating to skin and eyes.
Environmental Impact Tetrahydrofuran, THF, is used in large (6.81x10 10 grams/yr) quantities as a chemical intermediate and solvent (see also MANF). Because of its high vapor pressure and water solubility, significant amounts of the THF used as solvents will be released to the environment and workers will be exposed to it. Once released to the environment its behavior is not well understood and very little monitoring data are available. In the atmosphere THF should degrade rapidly (half-life - hours to days), especially under smog conditions and should be removed by rain. THF in water may biodegrade (limited data) but will not be removed by photodegradation or adsorption to sediment. Spills on soil are expected to evaporate rapidly or leach into groundwater. THF is not expected to bioconcentrate in fish or other aquatic organisms.
Environmental Fate TERRESTRIAL FATE: Tetrahydrofuran would be expected to volatilize from soil as well as leach rapidly into the ground. Its biodegradation in soil is unknown. AQUATIC FATE: Once released into water, the fate of THF is uncertain. Based on very limited data, one would expect it to biodegrade (see also BIOD). It is stable toward photodegradation and would not be expected to be adsorbed into the sediment. Its rate of evaporation is unknown. ATMOSPHERIC FATE: THF released into the atmosphere will degrade by photochemical reactions with hydroxyl radicals (see also ABIO). Data suggest that the half-life in the atmosphere will range from hours to a few days (see also ABIO). A soluble chemical such as THF will be expected to wash-out in rain.
Drinking Water Impact 14 heavily industrialized river basins in US (201 sites), 29 sites (14%) >1 ppb, range 1-318 ppb . EFFL: 30 samples taken between 1973-1976 ranged from 0 ug/l (Olin Corp, Brandenbury, KY, Ohio River/Wabash River) to 450,000 ug/l (General Electric, Mt Vernon, IN, Ohio River). Other notably high concn were 1000 ug/l (M/T Chem, Carrloton, KY, Ohio River), 850 ug/l (Olin Corp, IN, Ohio River Wabash River), and 318 ug/l (Ashtabula, OH).

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