Pentaerythritol (also called Tetramethylolmethane) is a polyalcohol compound containing 4 esterficable hydroxyl groups which characterize polyol functions. Almost infinite esters are available from polyol. Polyol is essential in polyurethane production. Pentaerythritol is a white crystalline odorless solid; moderately soluble in cold water, freely soluble in hot water; melting point 260 C and boiling point 276 C at 30 mm Hg. It is prepared from aldol condensations of formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. and followed Cannizaro reaction. It is used to make explosives such as pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN). PETN, also known as penthrite, is a white crystalline compound; melting point 139 C; explodes at 205-215C; soluble in acetone, insoluble in water. Pentolite is a highly reactive explosive composed of pentaerythritol and trinitrotoluene. Pentaerythritol is a basic material for polymer production. It is used to make alkyol resins, other coating compounds. Pentacite obtained from pentaerythritol is an alkyd resin used in coatings and printing inks. Pentaerythritol is used in the preparation of polyvinyl chloride stabilizers, antioxidants, varnishes, paints, adhesives, and other infinite derivatives. There are commercially three grades of pentaerythritol: mono ( 98 percent, with di- and tripentaerythritol impurities), technical (88 percent, with 8 to 10 percent dipentaerythritol, balance tri-) and nitration (99 percent, with di- and tripentaerythritol impurities).
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