Diisobutyl Phthalate

Diisobutyl phthalate is produced by reacting isobutanol with phthalic anhydride while in the presence of a concentrated sulphuric acid catalyst.


Diisobutyl phthalate is often added to polyvinyl chloride as a plasticizer in order to improve it material characteristics. Diisobutyl phthalate does not polymerize when added to PVC and allows for PVC molecules to slide along one another without tangling. The ability to avoid the polymers from becoming entangled will increase the flexibility of the PVC, making it more suitable for a number of applications. Vinyl fabrics and raincoats are examples of how Diisobutyl phthalate will increase the flexibility of PVC.

Diisobutyl phthalate is entirely composed of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen making it ideal for combustion reactions. Diisobutyl phthalate is used as a stabilizer within solid rocket propellant as Diisobutyl phthalate readily contributes molecules to sustain the combustion reaction at elevated temperatures.

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Diisobutyl phthalate is a colorless and oily liquid at standard condition. Diisobutyl phthalate is stable at increased temperatures due to its low vapor pressure and will not boil until 320°C. Diisobutyl phthalate is used as a replacement for dibutyl phthalate due to its lower cost of production, lower density and lower freezing point (-37°C). Diisobutyl phthalate’s stability at high temperatures has led it to be commonly used as a plasticizer in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to increase flexibility and softness. Diisobutyl phthalate is soluble in many organic solvents such as ethanol, ether, and benzene but only slightly soluble in water. Additional uses of Diisobutyl phthalate include car interiors, vinyl fabrics, elastomers, lacquers, adhesives and solid rocket propellant.

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