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Tetrahydrothiophene is an organosulfur compound with the formula (CH2)4S. It consists of a five-membered ring containing four carbon atoms and a sulfur atom. It is the saturated analog of thiophene. It is a volatile, colorless liquid with an intensely unpleasant odor. It is also known as thiophane, thiolane or THT.
Synthesis and reactions
This compound is a ligand in coordination chemistry, an example being the complex chloro(tetrahydrothiophene)gold(I).
Oxidation of THT gives the solvent called sulfolane, a polar solvent with almost no odor. Sulfolane is more conventionally prepared from butadiene.
Because of its smell, tetrahydrothiophene has been used as an odorant in LPG, albeit no longer in North America. It is also used as an odorant for natural gas, usually in mixtures containing tert-butylthiol.
Stability Highly flammable. Vapour-air mixtures explosive in some proportions; note low flash point and fairly wide explosion limit range. Heavier than air, so potentially explosive mixtures may travel considerable distances to source of ignition.