Dioctyl Terephthalate's Manufacture

Dioctyl terephthalate (bis(2-ethylhexyl) benzene-1,4-dicarboxylate or Di(2-ethylhexyl) terephthalate), commonly abbreviated DOTP or DEHT, is an organic compound with the formula C6H4(CO2C8H17)2. It is a non-phthalate plasticizer, being the diester of terephthalic acid and the branched-chain 2-ethylhexanol. This colorless viscous liquid used for softening PVC plastics is known for chemical similarity to general purpose phthalates such as DEHP and DINP, but without any negative regulatory pressure. It possesses very good plasticizing properties and may be used as a direct replacement for DEHP and DINP in many applications.


One method of manufacture entails the transesterification of dimethyl terephthalate with 2-ethylhexanol:

          C6H4(CO)2(OCH3)2 + 2 C8H17OH → C6H4(CO2 C8H17)2 + 2CH3OH

 

A second method of manufacture is a direct esterification of terephthalic acid with 2-ethylhexanol:

          C6H4(CO2H)2 + 2 C8H17OH → C6H4(CO2 C8H17)2 + 2H2O


Use


DOTP is a general purpose plasticizer that is considered safer than ortho-phthalate plasticizers due to its excellent toxicological profile. The terephthalates exhibit none of the peroxisome proliferation of liver enzymes that some ortho-phthalates have shown in several studies.[1] It has uses in applications like extrusion, calendering, injection molding, rotational molding, dip molding, slush molding and coating.

 

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