1,3-Butadiene

1,3-Butadiene is a simple conjugated diene with the formula C4H6. It is an important industrial chemical used as a monomer in the production of synthetic rubber. When the word butadiene is used, most of the time it refers to 1,3-butadiene. 1,3-Butadiene is inconvenient for laboratory use because it is a flammable gas subject to polymerization on storage. 3-Butadiene cyclic sulfone (sulfolene) is a convenient solid storable source for 1,3-butadiene for many laboratory purposes when the generation of sulfur dioxide byproduct in the reaction mixture is not objectionable. Long-term exposure has been associated with cardiovascular disease, there is a consistent association with leukemia, and weaker association with other cancers. Most butadiene is polymerized to produce synthetic rubber. While polybutadiene itself is a very soft, almost liquid material, copolymers prepared from mixtures of butadiene with styrene and/or acrylonitrile, such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), acrylonitrilebutadiene (NBR) and styrene-butadiene (SBR) are tough and elastic. SBR is the material most commonly used for the production of automobile tires. Smaller amounts of butadiene are used to make the nylon intermediate, adiponitrile, by the addition of a molecule of hydrogen cyanide to each of the double bonds in a process called hydrocyanation developed by DuPont. Other synthetic rubber materials such as chloroprene, and the solvent sulfolane are also manufactured from butadiene. Butadiene is used in the industrial production of 4-vinylcyclohexene via a Diels Alder dimerization reaction and the vinylcyclohexene is a common impurity found in butadiene upon storage. Cyclooctadiene and cyclododecatriene are produced via nickel- or titanium-catalyzed dimerization and trimerization reactions, respectively. Butadiene is also useful in the synthesis of cycloalkanes and cycloalkenes, as it reacts with double and triple carbon-carbon bonds through the Diels-Alder reaction. The name butadiene can also refer to the isomer, 1,2-butadiene, which is a cumulated diene. However, this allene is difficult to prepare and has no industrial significance. This diene is also not expected to act as a diene in a Diels-Alder reaction due to its structure. To effect a Diels-Alder reaction only a conjugated diene will suffice.

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