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1,4-Butanediol is the organic compound with the formula HOCH2CH2CH2CH2OH. This colorless viscous liquid is derived from butane by placement of alcohol groups at each end of the chain. It is one of four stable isomers of butanediol.
In its industrial synthesis, acetylene reacts with two equivalents of formaldehyde to form 1,4-butynediol, also known as but-2-yne-1,4-diol. This type of process is illustrative of what is known as Reppe Chemistry. Hydrogenation of 1,4-butynediol gives 1,4-butanediol.
1,4-Butanediol is used industrially as a solvent and in the manufacture of some types of plastics and fibers. In organic chemistry, 1,4-butanediol is used for the synthesis of γ-butyrolactone (GBL). In the presence of phosphoric acid and high temperature, it dehydrates to the important solvent tetrahydrofuran. At about 200 °C in the presence of soluble ruthenium catalysts, the diol undergoes dehydrogenation to form butyrolactone.
It is also used as a recreational drug known by some users as "One Comma Four", "One Four Bee" or "One Four B-D-O". It exerts effects similar to γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), which is a metabolic product of 1,4-butanediol.
Anecdotal reports indicate that 1,4-butanediol produces a strong toxic feeling not present with GHB when ingested. These reports also indicate that it may cause damage to the liver as well as to other vital organs. Abuse has also resulted in addiction and death.
1,4-Butanediol is converted into GHB by the enzymes alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase and differing levels of these enzymes may account for differences in effects and side effects between users. Because these enzymes are also responsible for metabolizing alcohol there is a strong chance of a dangerous drug interaction. Emergency room patients who overdose on both alcohol and 1,4-butanediol often present with symptoms of ethanol intoxication initially and as the ethanol is metabolized the 1,4-butanediol is then able to better compete for the enzyme and a second period of intoxication ensues as the 1,4-butanediol is converted into GHB.
2007 contamination of Bindeez toy
A toy called Bindeez (Aqua Dots in North America) was recalled by the distributor in November 2007 because of the presence of 1,4-butanediol. The toy consists of small beads that stick to each other by sprinkling water. 1,4-Butanediol, which is metabolized to gamma-hydroxybutyric acid in vivo, was detected by GC-MS. The production plant seems to have intended to cut costs by replacing 1,5-pentanediol. ChemNet China lists the price of 1,4 butanediol at between about US$1,350-$2,800 per metric ton, while the price for 1,5-pentanediol is about US$9,700 per metric ton.
1,4-Butanediol seems to have two types of pharmacological actions. The major psychoactive effects of 1,4-butanediol are due to the fact that it is metabolized into GHB, however there is some evidence that 1,4-butanediol may have inherent alcohol-like pharmacological effects that are not due to this conversion.
While 1,4-butanediol is not currently scheduled federally in the United States, a number of states have classified 1,4-butanediol as a controlled substance. Scheduling of 1,4-butanediol on a federal level is highly unlikely considering its common industrial use and many industrial applications.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "1,4-Butanediol". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|