Uses and Properties

The BDO & Derivatives Sector Group (BDO) unites the manufacturers of 1,4 butanediol (BDO) and its downstream  products such as gammabutyrolactone (GBL), tetrahydrofuran (THF), N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), N-ethylpyrrolidone (NEP) and 2-pyrrolidone (PYR).

BDO, GBL and PYR, predominantly serve as building blocks in the production of other chemicals or engineering plastics and polyurethane systems (e.g. golf balls, skateboard wheels, car bumpers). THF, NEP and NMP are essential process solvents in the production of circuit boards, insulated wire, membranes and lithium ion batteries. Furthermore they are solvents for inks, lacquers, adhesives and chemical synthesis of pharmaceutical active ingredients THF, apart from its solvent use, is the monomer of Poly THF the principal material for the manufacture of elastic fibers and other high performance polymers.

Issues and Regulations


The BDO and Derivatives REACH Consortium activities and dossiers are managed by ReachCentrum.

Voluntary Product Stewardship Code for BDO and GBL

BDO and GBL are on the Voluntary Monitoring List for Non-Scheduled Drug Precursors under the EU regulations on monitoring of trade in drug precursors. The members of the BDO & Derivatives Sector Group have all committed to a common voluntary Product Stewardship code with measures to prevent the misuse of BDO and GBL and only supply these products to credible customers with known and understood end-uses. In particular, the BDO & Derivatives Sector group does not support the sale of BDO and GBL on internet to private consumers. Since its adoption in 2005, the code has been reviewed regularly to ensure its effectiveness.

The Cefic code served a starting point for a voluntary international product stewardship code that was developed together with the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the Japan Chemistry Industry Association (JCIA) and the China Petroleum & Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF).  The code was adopted in April 2017 by the Internal Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) and is perceived as a best practice example in the field of responsible care and product stewardship. The next step is now to spread these practices to manufacturing companies all over the world by having them endorse the code.

Additional Information

Update on the new classification of Tetrahydrofuran (THF) – September 2013


Chairman: Andreas Pfau, BASF

Vice-Chair: Romuald Brunet, LyondellBasell


Serrien Stany
Sector Group Manager