Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is a colourless, oily liquid which is miscible with most common organic solvents but almost insoluble in water. It is a plasticizer which is used in many plastics and is found in water, air, soil, plants and animals. Dibutyl phthalate is produced by reacting n-butanol with phthalic anhydride. It is compatible with other monomeric plasticizers which are commonly used in PVC, and is frequently used in combination with these as a gelling aid as it is too volatile to use by itself.
Dibutyl phthalate is an ester. Like other esters, it reacts with acids to liberate heat along with alcohols and acids. Dibutyl phthalate does not polymerize.
Synonyms: Di-n-butyl phthalate, n-Butyl phthalate, Butyl phthalate, Celluflex DPB, Elaol, Genoplast B, Palatinol C, 84-74-2, Polycizer DBP
Applications of Dibutyl Phthalate
The primary use of dibutyl phthalate is as a plasticizer in polyvinyl acetate emulsions. As mentioned above, it is used in combination with other plasticizers in PVC applications to increase flexibility and workability. It is also found in fibreglass and rubbers.
DBP is further used as plasticiser in adhesives, paints, lacquers and grouts. It is also used as a solvent in a number of other miscellaneous application and as a medium for reactions in a number of chemical processes for the manufacture of other substances.
Storage and Handling
Dibutyl phthalate should be stored in a tightly-closed container in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place. Optimum storage temperature is between 2°C and 8°C. Avoid exposure to strong oxidizing agents and bases as this may cause a vigorous exothermic reaction. The material is combustible and capable of generating electrostatic charges. After opening, reseal containers carefully and store in an upright position to avoid leakage.
The product should be handled in accordance with good industry safety and hygiene practices. Relevant engineering controls should be implemented. Avoid inhaling the vapour or mist. Personal protective equipment including approved safety glasses, impervious clothing and gloves should be worn, and along with respirators where deemed necessary by risk assessment.