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 is manufactured by catalytic hydrogenation of maleic anhydride
1. Solvent: 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.
2. Polymer Science: 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.
3. Adhesives: Industrial uses for THF include adhesives and sealant chemicals; intermediates; laboratory chemicals; processing aids specific to petroleum production; and solvents.