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A colorless, flammable gas obtained from petroleum, acetylene or from ethanol. Butadiene polymerizes readily in the presence of oxygen to form a rubbery polymer. It was first polymerized in Russia by Sergei Lebedev in 1910. By the 1930s, many countries developed butadiene production capabilities as a replacement for natural rubber. Currently, butadiene is primarily used as a starting material for synthetic elastomers.

See Buna, ABS resin, neoprene, and polybutadiene.

Synonyms and Related Terms

1,3-butadiene; bivinyl; divinyl B; erythrene; vinyl ethylene; biethylene; pyrrollylene; methylallene; Butadien (Deut.); butadieen (Ned.)

Other Properties

Soluble in alcohols, ether, petroleum solvents, carbon tetrachloride. Insoluble in water.

Composition H2C:CHHC:CH2
CAS 106-99-0
Melting Point -108.9
Density 0.64 (liquid)
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 54.1
Boiling Point -4.41

Hazards and Safety

Contact can cause frostbite and irritation to membranes. Inhalation is toxic. Suspected human carcinogen. Highly flammable and explosive. Flash point = -85 C

LINK: International Chemical Safety Card


  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 1534
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 126
  • Theodore J. Reinhart, 'Glossary of Terms', Engineered Plastics, ASM International, 1988
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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