Pentaerythritol is a versatile building block for the preparation of many polyfunctionalized compounds. Derivatives of pentaerythritol are components of alkyd resins, varnishes, polyvinyl chloride stabilizers, tall oil esters, and olefin antioxidants. It can be found in transformer oil, plastics, paints, cosmetics, and many other applications.
Pentaerythritol is a precursor to esters of the type C(CH2OX)4. One such derivative is pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), a vasodilator and explosive. The trinitrate derivative is called pentrinitrol (Petrin). The tetraacetate is called normosterol (PAG). The polymer cross-linking agent pentaerythritol tetraacrylate.
Pentaerythritol is used as a fire retardant, such as in plastics. Produces thick carbon barrier upon heating protecting the surface substrate.