1,3-Propanediol is the organic compound with the formula CH2(CH2OH)2. This three-carbon diol is a colorless viscous liquid that is miscible with water.
It is mainly used as a building block in the production of polymers such as polytrimethylene terephthalate.
1,3-Propanediol can be formulated into a variety of industrial products including composites, adhesives, laminates, coatings, moldings, aliphatic polyesters, copolyesters. It is also a solvent and used as an antifreeze and in wood paint.
1,3-Propanediol may be chemically synthesized by the hydration of acrolein, or by the hydroformylation of ethylene oxide to afford 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde. The aldehyde is hydrogenated to give 1,3-propanediol. Moreover, the bioconversion of glycerol to 1,3-propanediol is existent in certain bacteria.
Two other routes involve bioprocessing by certain micro-organisms:Conversion from corn syrup effected by a genetically modified strain of E. coli by DuPont Tate & Lyle BioProducts (See: bioseparation of 1,3-propanediol). An estimated 120,000 tons were produced in 2007". According to DuPont, the Bio-PDO process uses 40% less energy than conventional processes, Because of DuPont and Tate & Lyle's success in developing a renewable Bio-PDO process, the American Chemical Society awarded the Bio-PDO research teams the "2007 Heroes of Chemistry" award.
Conversion from glycerol (a by-product of biodiesel production) using Clostridium diolis bacteria and Enterobacteriaceae.
1,3-Propanediol does not appear to pose a significant hazard via inhalation of either the vapor or a vapor/aerosol mixture.