|Jmol-3D images||Image 1|
|Molar mass||72.06 g mol−1|
|Melting point||−33.4 °C; −28.1 °F; 239.8 K|
|Boiling point||162 °C; 324 °F; 435 K (dec.)|
|Solubility in water||Soluble|
|Solubility in organic solvents||Miscible|
|Refractive index (nD)||1.4131|
(what is: / ?)|
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
β-Propiolactone is an organic compound of the lactone family, with a four-membered ring. It is a clear, colorless liquid with a slightly sweet odor, highly soluble in water and miscible with ethanol, acetone, diethyl ether and chloroform. The word propiolactone usually refers to this compound, although it may also refer to α-propiolactone.
β-Propiolactone is "reasonably expected to be a human carcinogen" (IARC, 1999). It is one of 13 "OSHA-regulated carcinogens," chemicals regarded occupational carcinogens by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, despite not having an established permissible exposure limit. It was once widely used in the manufacture of acrylic acid and its esters, but its use has been mostly phased out in favor of safer and less expensive alternatives. β-Propiolactone is a disinfectant and has been used to sterilize blood plasma, vaccines, tissue grafts, surgical instruments, and enzymes. The principal current use of propiolactone is an intermediate in the synthesis of other chemical compounds.
β-Propiolactone will slowly react with water and hydrolyze to produce 3-hydroxypropionic acid (hydracryclic acid).