Product Information


Pentaerythritol (CAS: 115-77-5) Supplier in Europe

Pentaerythritol is a versatile organic compound with the chemical formula C(CH2OH)4, commonly used in the synthesis of various commercial products. As a white, crystalline solid, it serves as a fundamental building block in the production of explosives, plastics, paints, and cosmetics.

Its utility stems from the presence of four hydroxyl groups, making it a polyol with multiple reactive sites, which allows for diverse applications in different industrial processes.

In the realm of safety and regulation, pentaerythritol plays a role as a flame retardant. The tetranitrate derivative of pentaerythritol, known as pentaerythritol tetranitrate or PETN, is particularly noteworthy for its use in explosive materials.

Despite its involvement in sensitive applications, pentaerythritol is also found in less ominous uses such as in the formulation of certain types of varnishes and as a laxative in the pharmaceutical industry.

Industrial synthesis of this compound emphasizes a high degree of purity and consistent quality, as exemplified by suppliers who offer products with purity levels around 99%.

Its stability and inert atmosphere packaging appeal to manufacturers who require reliability in their raw materials. As with all chemical compounds, handling pentaerythritol necessitates adherence to proper safety protocols to ensure a safe working environment.

Chemical Properties

This section delves into the chemical properties of Pentaerythritol, focusing on its molecular structure, physical characteristics, and thermal stability.

Molecular Structure

Pentaerythritol is a tetrol, meaning it contains four hydroxyl (-OH) groups. Its molecular formula is C(CH2OH)4.

Structurally, it is derived from neopentane with one hydrogen from each of the four methyl groups replaced by a hydroxyl group.

Physical Characteristics


  • Solid
  • White


  • Practically insoluble in water
  • Soluble in organic solvents like acetone and dimethylformamide

Thermal Stability

Pentaerythritol exhibits good thermal stability for use in various industrial applications. It decomposes before melting, with decomposition starting at around 260°C under normal atmospheric conditions.


Pentaerythritol is predominantly synthesized for commercial use in various industries, where its production follows a specific chemical synthesis process and is manufactured on an industrial scale to meet global demand.

Synthesis Process

The production of pentaerythritol involves a condensation reaction where formaldehyde and acetaldehyde are key reactants.

  • Reactants: A mixture of formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and sodium hydroxide is initially prepared.
  • Reaction: Under controlled conditions, these chemicals react, typically in the presence of a base.
  • Acidification: After the reaction, the mixture undergoes acidification, often with formic acid, to precipitate the product.

This procedure results in the formation of a chemical compound that contains four alcohol groups, which characterizes its four equivalent functional groups and gives it versatility in applications.

Industrial Scale Manufacturing

Manufacturing pentaerythritol on an industrial scale involves:

  • Batch Reactor Usage: An automated batch reactor facilitates the controlled addition of reagents, with strict monitoring of temperature and pH levels.
  • Recovery: The process includes steps to recover unreacted formaldehyde by means of evaporation and stripping.
  • Crystallization: The pentaerythritol is then crystallized, resulting in a solid product.
  • Separation: Lastly, the crystallized pentaerythritol is separated from the mother liquor to yield the final product.

These steps are designed to optimize yield and purity of pentaerythritol, ensuring that the product meets the required standards for its use in further applications such as in the synthesis of explosives, plastics, paints, and cosmetics.


Pentaerythritol serves as a foundational component in various industries due to its unique properties. Its role as a versatile building block leads to numerous applications in resin manufacturing, explosive components, paint and coating formulations, and lubricants.

Resin Manufacturing

Pentaerythritol is instrumental in producing alkyd resins, which are widely utilized as binders in paint and casting molds.

These resins form the backbone of many oil-based coatings, and their production amounts to approximately 200,000 tons annually.


Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) is an explosive compound derived from this chemical. It is highly valued for its stability and power, and is often employed in a variety of military and commercial applications for its blast properties.

Paints and Coatings

In the realm of paints and coatings, pentaerythritol contributes to the formulation of varnishes and paints.

It imparts characteristics like durability and resistance to various elements, enhancing the protective qualities of many commercial and industrial paints.


Lastly, pentaerythritol finds its role in lubricants. Its derivatives serve as synthetic lubricants and help to improve oxidative stability and provide high-temperature performance, ensuring the reliability and efficiency of different mechanical systems.

Safety and Handling

When handling pentaerythritol, one must adhere to strict safety guidelines to prevent health risks and ensure proper use. To guarantee safety, comprehending its toxicology, storage guidelines, and transport regulations is essential.


Pentaerythritol is considered to have low toxicity. However, direct contact with the skin or eyes may cause irritation.

In case of inhalation, it may lead to respiratory irritation. Long-term exposure has not been widely studied, so caution is urged.

Storage Guidelines

Storage of pentaerythritol should follow these key points:

  • Keep in a cool, well-ventilated area.
  • Store away from moisture as it is hygroscopic; it absorbs moisture from the air, which could affect its stability.
  • Containers must be tightly sealed to prevent contamination.

Transport Regulations

Pentaerythritol transportation is governed by regulations to prevent accidents during transit:

  • Classify as a non-hazardous material.
  • No special transport regulations apply.
  • Ensure packaging is secure to prevent spills or exposure to moisture.

Environmental Impact

The environmental influence of pentaerythritol revolves primarily around its interaction with ecosystems, particularly emphasizing its biodegradability and aquatic toxicity.


Research suggests that certain bacteria are capable of transforming pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), indicating biodegradation potential in contaminated environments.

However, reports detail that degradation of pentaerythritol compounds may be limited, leading to persistence in some ecological settings.

Aquatic Toxicity

Pentaerythritol’s derivatives, such as pentaerythritol tetranitrate, show structural similarities to nitroglycerin and share analogous toxicological concerns.

The impact on aquatic life is an area of concern due to the possible persistence and toxicity of these compounds, which may be challenging to assess due to scarce data.

Global Market

The global pentaerythritol market is characterized by steady growth and a slightly consolidated competitive landscape. Primary factors influencing the market include the demand for stable polyols and the application in various derivative manufacturing industries.

Demand and Supply Trends

The demand for pentaerythritol has been experiencing a consistent upswing with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of approximately 5.4% from 2014 to 2020.

This trend is attributed to its escalating use as a substituent for electrical transformer fluids and the growing need within the manufacture of various derivatives.

On the supply side, the market is challenged by limited players dominating the production, making the competitive landscape partially consolidated.

Regional Markets Overview

  • North America: A significant player in the consumption and production of pentaerythritol due to robust industrial sectors.
  • Europe: The presence of key market participants such as Ercros SA and Perstorp places Europe as an essential hub for the pentaerythritol market.
  • Asia-Pacific: Predicted to exhibit the highest growth, particularly due to the expanding manufacturing and construction industries in countries like China and India.
  • Rest of the World: Comprising smaller markets, yet showing potential for growth in line with the global trend.

The market size was valued at USD 2.7 Billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 6.8 Billion by 2030.

The Asia-Pacific region, particularly, is showing rapid growth rates, which suggests a shift towards this region in terms of both production and consumption in the coming years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Pentaerythritol is widely utilized across various industries, particularly known for its application in the production of paints and the synthesis process involving formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. This section addresses common questions regarding its commercial use, manufacturing, and safety.

What are the common applications of pentaerythritol in industry?

Pentaerythritol finds its use in numerous industries as an ingredient in alkyd resins, varnishes, PVC stabilizers, antioxidants, and as a precursor to esters used in lubricants and plasticizers.

How is pentaerythritol synthesized commercially?

Commercial synthesis of pentaerythritol involves the reaction of formaldehyde with acetaldehyde in the presence of an alkaline catalyst, typically sodium or calcium hydroxide.

What is the role of pentaerythritol in paint manufacturing?

In paint production, pentaerythritol is a key component for making alkyd resins, which serve as a binder in most oil-based paints, enhancing their durability, gloss retention, and film integrity.

What factors influence the price of pentaerythritol in the market?

The price of pentaerythritol is primarily influenced by raw material costs, particularly formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, market demand in paints and coatings, and fluctuations in economic conditions impacting construction and automotive industries.

How is pentaerythritol solubility characterized in different solvents?

Pentaerythritol’s solubility varies across different solvents; it is moderately soluble in water, poorly soluble in most organic solvents, and its solubility characteristics are important in application-specific formulations.

What are the safety considerations when handling pentaerythritol tetranitrate?

Pentaerythritol tetranitrate requires careful handling due to its explosive nature. Strict adherence to storage and handling regulations is necessary to minimize the risk of accidental detonation or exposure to toxic dust.