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I am trying to find out what BPA is used for in the industrial production of plastics. On sources such as Wikipedia I only found the information that it is used, but not why.

What are the advantages in using BPA in the production of plastics? Why is it needed?

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Bisphenol-A is very inexpensive for its considerable formula weight - from benzene, propylene, air, acid; acetone (or other ketone or aldehyde) and acid.

1) Polycarbonate, as above. If you don't like HCl, dimethyl carbonate will do.
2) Epoxy resin, by bis-etherifying with glycidyl chloride. That is a huge market, including paints and coatings.
3) Bis-etherify with propargyl chloride. That thermally B-stages (removes the shrinkage upon cure) then thermosets to an astounding thermally resistant super-crosslinked resin that adheres to any polar surface.
4) Bis-esterify with methacrylic acid to get into heavily cross-linked free radical or UV cures.
5) And if you really want something resistant, instead of acetone use fluorenone or a 2,7-disubstituted fluorenone. Or be fiendishly clever and use 4,4'-dihydroxybenzophenone instead of acetone. Now there is a tetrahedral tecton for synthesis!

Bisphenol-A is a claimed endrocrine disruptor. Eastman Kodak has immense production capacity for acetic anhydride (cellulose acetate photographic film). It offshot into ketene dimer chemistry then mixed cis- and trans-2,2,4,4-tetramethyl-1,3-cyclobutanediol as a BPA replacement. If you do not mind paying more and getting less, stuff as well as performance, the problem is solved.

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Bisphenol A is the monomer used for synthesizing polycarbonates, sometimes via the following reaction: Polycarbonate Reaction


If you take a look at this, you can see that it has many different (read: non-polymer related) application possibilities, and is cheap to produce (making it the most preferred option when selecting the monomers).

The synthesis of BPA involves acetone and phenol, both very very cheap substances.

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