What is Butanediol (BDO) and what's it used for?

- Jan 15, 2020-

Butanediol (BDO)  CAS No.: 110-63-4

1,4-Butanediol, also known as BD or BDO is a slightly-toxic, non- hazardous, colorless liquid or solid (depending on the temperature) organic chemical product.

BDO is a bifunctional alcohol that is very widely used in the chemical industry. The terminal OH in each of the –CH2OH groups of BDO can be reacted with numerous monofunctional and bifunctional compounds, for example to form polyesters with dicarboxylic acids, PUR with diisocyanates, and polycarbonates with phosgene. It is also used as a building block in the production of polyester polyols and polyether polyols. BDO and its derivatives are used for producing engineering plastics, PUR, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibers.


Main BDO reaction types in PUR chemistry:

BDO + dicarboxylic acids

polyester polyols

BDO + alkylene oxides

polyether polyols

BDO + diisocyanates


BASF is the world’s biggest producer of 1,4-butanediol (BDO) and its derivatives. The the most prevalent method worldwide is the BASF Reppe process, which makes butanediol from acetylene and formaldehyde by high-pressure synthesis.