What is THF (Tetrahydrofuran)
Use as a Solvent
Probably one of the most common applications is as a solvent. A solvent is used to create solutions, and in this case THF serves to dissolve or form solutions with other organic compounds. In the chemical industry, THF is the solvent of choice in making polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is the plastic that a lot of our indoor plumbing and sprinkler system pipes are made out of.
THF is the solvent used in the synthesis of PVC pipes, which are commonly found in household plumbing systems
THF is also a popular solvent choice for small-scale laboratory experiments, mainly because it can dissolve a wide variety of organic compounds and has a relatively low boiling point. The low boiling point is convenient because it makes the solvent easy to remove from the chemical reaction by evaporation.
It turns out that if you take THF and expose it to a strong acid, it will polymerize (form a repeating network of THF molecules) into what's called poly(tetramethylene ether) glycol or PTMEG for short. That's a long, complicated name, but PTMEG is the polymer used for making something a lot of use daily, spandex !
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