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Name: Rob G.
Status: educator
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Saturday, October 12, 2002


Question:
What is the difference between isopropanol and isopropyl alcohol?


Replies:
Different common names for the same chemical. There is another isomer n-propanol or n-propyl alcohol.

Vince Calder


Rob,

They are the same substance. HOWEVER, "isopropanol" is an incorrect mix of two different naming systems. The "ol" suffix is part of the IUPAC system of nomenclature. The "iso" prefix is part of the common system of nomenclature. The two systems should not be mixed together. Alas, even authors of chemistry texts -- people who should know better if they are to lead -- make the mistake of blending the nomenclature systems.

Regards,
ProfHoff 504


Same thing. The actual systematic name for the stuff is 2-propanol. The name "isopropanol" is actually a combination of two naming systems, so is neither fish nor fowl. A chemist will be able to recognize the material from any of the names, though.

Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
Director of Academic Programs
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois


2 names, 1 chemical

Greg Bradburn


They are both identically the same molecule but just with different names.

Darin Wagner



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