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Information @ a Glance

  • ε-Caprolactone or simply caprolactone is a cyclic ester, a member of the lactone family, with a seven-membered ring with the formula (CH₂)₅CO₂. This colorless liquid is miscible with most organic solvents. It is produced on a very large scale as a precursor to caprolactam.
  • The great majority of caprolactone is consumed, often in situ, as a precursor to caprolactam. It is also a monomer used in the  manufacture of highly specialised polymers.
  • Caprolactone is a colourless liquid with a melting point of -1.3 C and a boiling point of 237 C. The substance is miscible with water in all proportions and the calculated log Kow (octanol-water partition coefficient) is 0.68. The vapour pressure of -caprolactone is 0.81 Pa.
  • Caprolactone is prepared industrially by Baeyer-Villiger oxidation of cyclohexanone with peracetic acid.The three main manufacturers are BASF in the USA, Daicel in Japan and the largest Perstorp in the UK.
  • Several other caprolactones are known, although none approaches the technological importance of ε-caprolactone. These isomers  include alpha-, beta-, gamma-, delta-caprolactones. All are chiral. Gamma-caprolactone is component of flower aromas and an insect pheromone. delta-Caprolactone is found in heated milk fat.
  • Caprolactone hydrolyses rapidly and the resulting hydroxycarboxylic acid displays unexceptional toxicity, as is common for  the other hydroxy carboxylic acids.It is known to cause severe eye irritation. Exposure may result in corneal injury.
  • Caprolactone - About 50 % of the quantity produced is used on site for the production of polymers(poly caprolactones). The remaining 50 % is sold to customers (downstream users) as an intermediate for use in the manufacture of resins and polymers.
  • ε-Caprolactone exhibits low acute toxicity by all potentially relevant routes of exposure.
  • Caprolactones, are integral in applications such as the production of support material for top-quality shoes, waterborne PUDs and modern orthopedic brace supports.
  • The market for caprolactone - based technology is continuing to grow rapidly.
  • Capa polycaprolactones are specialty polyester polyols that are typically used as the soft segment component in a wide range of highperformance polyurethane CASE applications, such as PUDs for wood and leather coatings, cast elastomers, TPUs, and protective coatings, solvent, water-based and 2K systems for chemical protection for steel and flooring applications.

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