The synthesis of pentaerythritol involves reacting four moles of formaldehyde and one mole of acetaldehyde in two differentiated steps. The first is an aldol condensation to give pentaerythritose. Then, the aldehyde obtained is subjected to a crossed Cannizzaro reaction, whereby one molecule of the pentaerythritose is reduced to pentaerythritol, which is then separated.

The raw pentaerythritol is dissolved again and subjected to high temperature acid hydrolysis, then purified in an activated carbon bed, concentrated and crystallized.

Chemical Properties:

C5H12O4, white, crystalline polyol with the neopentane backbone


Pentaerythritol is used in alkyd resins, radiation cure monomers, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) stabilizers, polyurethanes, rosin esters, synthetic lubricants, pigment treatment, antioxidants, and explosives.


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