Who invented isopropyl alcohol?


by teakey
Tags: alcohol, invented, isopropyl
teakey
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#1
Jun4-06, 09:27 AM
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Hi Everyone,
I am pulling my hair out trying to find the answer to this question. I went to the links posted links for history, and to no avail. I've tried looking at history of egyptians, greeks etc. but their history is drinking alcohol. Does anyone have a good idea where I could start. I've tried encylopedias, no names are given. Anyone that could help it would be great. Also, does anyone know how to find out who invented 409? again I can't find it. I even tried the free pantent site. Going nuts on research.
Thanks Teakey
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Lisa!
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#2
Jun4-06, 12:41 PM
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1. I thinnk you better ask a chemist.

2. Read the Etymology part! I guess isoprophyl alcohol isn't that old that you need to look for it through greek and egypt ancient history.

3. was it a discovery or an invention? (ya, I have trouble with that all the time)

4. Please don't pull your hair or anyone's else!
teakey
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#3
Jun4-06, 04:09 PM
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Hi Lisa,
Thank-you. I had read that, This is what I was looking for.
Pierre-Eugene-Marcelin Berthelot, was one of the first to discover synthesis. By synthesizding hydrocarbons and their corresponding alcohols such as methane (methyl alcohol) he was able to disprove the theory that organic compounds can only produce organic compounds.
And to think all I wanted to was some history of isopropyl alcohol and it's uses..... I never took chemistry or physics. This is so interesting.
Clorax has 409, all I know is it was invented in 1957. Trying to tap into the cleaning industries history is like trying to tap into the White House

Gokul43201
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#4
Jun4-06, 11:21 PM
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Who invented isopropyl alcohol?


Quote Quote by teakey
Hi Everyone,
I am pulling my hair out trying to find the answer to this question. I went to the links posted links for history, and to no avail. I've tried looking at history of egyptians, greeks etc. but their history is drinking alcohol. Does anyone have a good idea where I could start. I've tried encylopedias, no names are given. Anyone that could help it would be great.
Not to nitpick, but chemical compounds are usually said to be discovered rather than invented because, more likely than not, they can be found in nature...just not very easily.

I doubt the ancients knew anything about specific compounds, though they may well have perfected the use of several hundreds of mixtures. Even the few elemental metals that they worked with, they had no knowledge they were elements. They just treated all different materials as...well different.

The medieval alchemists did a little better. For instance with the destructive distillation of wood, they produced methanol and quickly discovered it was pretty poisonous stuff. They were also able to identify some trace products like acetone(?) and maybe acetic acid. It may be that they had made some propanol, but I highly doubt they synthesized or understood isopropanol.

Then followed much more systematic investigations, beginning early in the 19th century but catching steam only about 50 years later with Perkins and others. Still, I doubt that folks actually had made any isopropyl until perhaps pretty close to 1900. If I had to bet on a window, I'd say it happened sometime between 1890 and 1920. I'm almost positive that by the 1920s, the folks at GM and Du Pont had extracted from the hydrolysis of cellulose, every alcohol that had potential as a fuel.

Read this if you have the time : http://www.radford.edu/~wkovarik/pap...ing.html#highp

The only way I know that IPA can be made at a reasonable yield is the pretty complex Strong-Acid Hydrolysis (aka the strong-acid process). The article above states that this process had been explored by the 20's.


That's the best I can do as far as guessing goes. If you really need this info badly, look into this site :

http://www.scs.uiuc.edu/~mainzv/HIST/further/index.php

Follow the resources there, and you may find something. But it's not going to be easy. You might try emailing a few people on the Division of History for ACS or the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry.

Also, does anyone know how to find out who invented 409? again I can't find it. I even tried the free pantent site. Going nuts on research.
Formula 409 was developed by chemists at Clorox.

http://www.thecloroxcompany.com/comp.../funfacts.html
Evo
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#5
Jun5-06, 01:50 PM
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"In 1920, Standard Oil Company (later Exxon) scientists in Linden, New Jersey, were trying to invent useful products from gasoline by-products. They produced isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol was the first commercial petrochemical (chemicals made from oil) ever made and became the new ExxonMobil Chemical Company's first product."

http://inventors.about.com/od/invent...hive_seven.htm

All I did was google "isopropyl alcohol inventor".
Gokul43201
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Jun5-06, 08:10 PM
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Despite lacking rudimentary Google skills I got pretty close, eh?

Quote Quote by Gokul43201
Still, I doubt that folks actually had made any isopropyl until perhaps pretty close to 1900. If I had to bet on a window, I'd say it happened sometime between 1890 and 1920. I'm almost positive that by the 1920s, the folks at GM and Du Pont had extracted from the hydrolysis of cellulose, every alcohol that had potential as a fuel.
Quote Quote by Evo
All I did was google "isopropyl alcohol inventor".
You don't invent simple chemical compounds like IPA. That's not fair!
Lisa!
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Jun7-06, 08:37 AM
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Ah I thought inventor search wouldn't work since that was a discovery, IMO!
teakey
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#8
Jun7-06, 03:58 PM
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Thanks for all the help. I had read the artical through inventors.about.com
In order to show were isopropyl alcohol came from, one would have to show where alcohol orginated since isopropyl is syntheside from alcohol. I wasn't trying to say that any ancient culture discovered, or invented isopropyl alcohol.
Feel free to nitpick, I need it!!! I'm with Lisa, I always get the two confused discovered, invented.
Gokul43201
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Jun7-06, 08:54 PM
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Quote Quote by teakey
since isopropyl is syntheside from alcohol
Isopropyl (alcohol) is not synthesized from alcohol; it IS an alcohol.

Your statement is akin to saying Budweiser is synthesized from beer.
teakey
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#10
Jun7-06, 09:33 PM
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I worded it wrong, sorry about that. I'm just trying to learn a lot of information in a short amount of time. I think one is never too old to learn. I also think while one is trying to learn paitence, and understanding is needed from others. I'm used to forums that have that same understanding. That is one of the reasons forums are here, for people too learn in a safe, and welcoming enviroment. I am a beginner, and please forgive me of my short comings.
Gokul43201
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Jun8-06, 09:10 AM
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You don't have to apologize. Nor do I hope you take offense at the corrections I point out - I was only trying to correct a possible misunderstanding. I thought you gave me free rein with nitpicking!!
Bystander
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Jun8-06, 05:03 PM
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First synthesis, Charles Friedel, 1862, Historical Background of Chemistry, Henry M. Leicester, 1956; first isolation and characterization would probably have preceded that.
Gokul43201
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Jun8-06, 06:42 PM
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Wow, that's way sooner than I'd guessed. I was under the impression that most of the work done during that period (1850s to 1880s) was on aromatics.

Looking back at Evo's link it doesn't actually say the the folks at Exxon were the first to isolate IPA - just that it probably was a key component in their first patent.
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Jun8-06, 07:10 PM
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Wohler's synthesis of urea in 1828 can be regarded as the "birth" of organic chemistry; also, the first scientific "stake" through the heart of the notions of "vitalism," but that's neither here nor there. From that beginning, the study of chemistry and properties of carbon compounds proceeded in the usual systematic fashion, from the simple to more complex. i-PrOH is on the "simple" end of the spectrum. What it might have been called in early work is anyone's guess --- but, it's a pretty fair bet that it showed up as a still fraction for somebody long before Friedel performed a synthesis reaction that tied it to a structure.
rianvalleygir
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Mar7-10, 05:07 AM
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Muhammad ibn Zakariyā Rāzī (Mohammad-e Zakariā-ye Rāzi: Persian: محمد زکریای رازی), known as Rhazes or Rasis after medieval Latinists, (August 26, 865, Rayy— 925, Rayy) was a Persian[2][3] physician, alchemist and chemist, philosopher, and scholar. He is recognised as a polymath,[4] and Biographies of Razi, based on his writings, describe him as “perhaps the greatest clinician of all times.” Numerous “firsts” in medical research, clinical care, and chemistry are attributed to him, including being the first to differentiate smallpox from measles, and the discovery of numerous compounds and chemicals including alcohol and kerosene, among others.[5] Edward Granville Browne considers him as "probably the greatest and most original of all the physicians, and one of the most prolific as an author".[6]

Although Rhazes (or Razi) was a Persian living in Iran, his work was published in both Persian and Arabic lanugages

Hi
I was taught that Zakariya Razi was the discoverer of alcohol. This article concurs this information. I have been looking for the same answer and this info helped me. Look him up.
pituitrin
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#16
Oct13-11, 01:38 AM
P: 2
The inventor of Isopropyl Alchol was Harry E. LaBour who at the time was working for the federal goverment. He did not receive any money & so he quit. He later developed a centrifical pump for mines (one of which is in the sicence and industrial museum in Chicago. His factory in Elkart, Indiana has been producing pumps since before WWII. He and is daughter Mary E. also worked on the Manhatan factory
pituitrin
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#17
Oct13-11, 01:41 AM
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Isopropyl alc CORRECTION The last line should be Manhatan project not factory


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