Different Types of Isopropyl Alcohol

Different Types of Isopropyl Alcohol

What are the different grades of isopropyl alcohol?

Several grades of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) exist on the market. This includes industrial/technical grade, pharmaceutical (USP), and ACS (Spectrophotometric grade). Knowing the difference between these types is very important. Let’s dive into the differences and some of the common applications.

Industrial / Tech Grade IPA

This type of IPA is commonly used as an industrial/technical solvent and cleaner and as a raw material for derivatives. It’s used for a variety of non-medical applications, including general purpose wiping and cleaning, as a cleaner for printed circuit boards (PCBs), surface coatings, inks, and various household/commercial cleaners.

Since Industrial or Tech-Grade IPA is held to lower purity standards, it is not approved for medical, food, or drug use.

USP / Medical / Pharmaceutical Grade IPA

This IPA covers a wide range of applications, including drug manufacturing, medical wipes, as well as cosmetic use and personal care products (toiletries). Its purity is expected to be slightly higher than the industrial grade.

ACS (Spectrophotometric grade)

ACS IPA is held to a higher purity standard compared to USP grade. It’s common in applications including cosmetic and personal care products (toiletries) and rubbing alcohol.

Isopropyl Alcohol Comparison Chart – Isopropanol (IPA) Grade and Uses CAS 67-63-0 IPA or 2-Propanol or Dimethylcarbinol
Common NameApplicationPurity (%wt)Water (%wt)BP °CAcidity mg/kgNVR mg/kgDensity kg/l at 20° Cother substancesTotal impurity % wt
Tech Grade (Commercial & Industrial)Used for commercial and industrial purposes. Not approved for food, drug, or medicinal use of any kind>99.0<0,282,3N/AN/A0.785N/AN/A
USP (Medical Grade)Acceptable for food, drug, or medicinal use. Also used for most laboratory purposes, however the USP being followed>99.0<0,581-83<0.70<20ppm0.785-0.788<2ppm benzene & related substance<0.3
ACS (Spectrophotometric grade)Acceptable for food, drug, or medicinal use and can be used for ACS applications or for general procedures that require stringent quality specifications and purity>99.5<0,2N/A<0.00010.00%N/A<0.002% pionaldehyde; <0.002 acetone<0.5