First, we want to advise you that handling GBL bears great risks. It is essential, that you wear appropriate protective clothing (gloves and safety glasses). Every customer can learn about how to properly handle Gamma-Butyrolactone on our website: Dangers
The applications of GBL
GBL is a very versatile chemical that is has been successfully utilized by both industry and private customers. Back in the day, this chemical was an important ingredient in nail varnish remover. Varnish can be removed quickly and with little effort. Nowadays however, people have refrained from using nail varnish remover as the substance has been used by drug addicts to induce artificial highs.
Drinking or consuming GBL can be lethal and should not be practiced under any circumstances. We as retailers strongly advise all our clients to obtain this chemical with abuse or consumption in mind. Illegal use is not the basis for cooperation.
Uses in the Industry
Despite its hazards, GBL does offer a lot of uses for the Industry. A lot of companies still use it as an active ingredient in paint removers. The effectiveness of this chemical solvent remains unquestioned. However, paint removing solutions can also be made using other solvents. GBL is favorable, because it is neither toxic, nor flammable. In terms of storage and processing, GBL is effortless and does not require special safety precautions.
GBL is also an important substance in the production of textile fibers. One of these fibers is Polyacrylintril which is popular for its crease-resistant and stretch-resistant properties and soft feel. Usually, it is being mixed with cotton or wool with a ratio of up to 85%. Polyacrylintril is also being used as a starting material in the production of carbon fibers which are especially rigid and lightweight.
GBL as a solvent
GBL is also needed as a solvent for Polystyrene. Polystyrene (or PS for short) is a kind of foam that has a wide range of applications. Mostly it is being used in construction where it is used as an insulating material due to its impact-resistant and water-repellant properties. It is sensitive to UV-light however. PS is popular not only in construction, but also in food packaging. It also appears to be biodegradable as a study showed that mealworms can consume it without it having any adverse effects on their health.
GBL can also be used as an additive to drilling oil. These oils are being used for the drilling, chafing, thread-cutting, countersinking, turning, and molding of several different materials. This is especially important for working with steel as the oil reduces friction and cools the tools at the same time. The use of drilling oils also reduces corrosion on both the tool and the work piece. The number of manufacturers making drilling oils is big, and such is the demand for GBL for this sector of the industry.
GBL as a pure solvent irritates the skin and can even burn skin when given some time. For that reason, we urge our customers to always wear the necessary protective clothing when handling the substance. Face and eyes always need to be protected. GBL is also essential in producing sun lotions and creams that are applied to the skin in order to reduce the amount of UV light absorbed by the skin. The topic of skin cancer is omnipresent in the summer and producing protective solutions would be a lot harder without GBL.
Applications in the pharmaceutical industry
Without GBL, the production of many drugs would be affected. GHB, known for its anesthetic properties, is still being used in the clinical sector. During C-sections, this solution is used as a narcotic. It is also being used as an anesthetic for patients with liver damages because other narcotics would affect the organs. GHB can be absorbed directly by the body. GHB salts are also in use for treating the symptoms of narcolepsy. Said drug is declared safe for use in the USA and the EU.
GHB is classified as a narcotic in Germany meaning that production and sale of the chemical is subject to approval by federal authorities. Those producing or selling it without said approval are breaking federal law and will be criminally prosecuted.
We strongly advise against the illegal production of GHB using GBL. Requests suggesting such intentions will be forwarded to the authorities immediately. We do not tolerate illegal behavior.
Sale of GBL is only permitted for applications legal under federal law. We as a retailer do our best to ensure that this chemical does not reach the wrong hands. Only adults are entitled to a purchase. More about this can be read in our FAQ.
The chemical is being used as a solvent for:
- Polyarylnitril (Production of fibers – e.g. textile industry)
- Cellulose acetate (Textile fibers, optical coating for displays)
- Polystyrene (Building insulation, packaging industry)
- Shellac (Production of artificial resins e.g. for paints and lacquers.)
GBL can also be used as an additive to:
- Drilling oils
- Paint removers
- Textile auxiliary agents
Gamma-Butryrolactone can be used as reagent for:
- Acylation reactions
- Condensation reactions
- Wittig reactions
It is also a starting chemical in the production of:
- N-Methyl- and Polyvinylpyrrolidin
- Artificial resins
- Piperidine und Methionine
- Intermediate products required for the production of the starting products for making Vitamin B1
- Perm solutions
- Sun lotions
- Nematicide (Printer ink)
- Extraction agents (Petroleum industry)
- Stabilizers for chlorine-hydrocarbon
- Phosphor-based pesticides
- Selective solvents for crude-oil components (Acetylene)
- Agricultural chemicals
It is also being used a starting chemical for the following syntheses:
- Glutamine acid
- Various vitamins