Safety Data

IUPAC name: Dibutyl phthalate

CAS No.   84-74-2

EINECS No. 201-557-4

Molecular formula:   C16H22O4

Molecular weight:  278.34


Di-n-butyl phthalate, 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, dibutyl ester (9CI), Phthalic acid, dibutyl ester (6CI, 8CI), Bis-n-butyl phthalate, Butyl phthalate, DBP, DBP (ester), Di(n-butyl) 1,2-benzenedicarboxylate, Dibutyl o-phthalate, n-Butyl phthalate, Palatinol C, Phthalic acid di-n-butyl ester

Molecular Structure

Purity:  > 99% (w/w)


ca. 0.01% (w/w) butan-1-ol
ca. 0.01% (w/w) butyl benzoate

Additives:  None

Physical State: Oily Liquid

Boiling Point: 340 oC at 1013 hPa

Melting Point:  - 69 oC

Vapour Pressure:  9.7 + 3.3 x 10-5 hPa at 25 oC

Water solubility (20C)  10 mg/l

Octanol/water partitioning coefficient (log Kow)  4.57

Flash Point

Autoignition temperature

Density (20C)  1.045 g/cm3


Repr. Cat. 2; R61 : Repr. Cat. 3; R62 : N; R50.
Symbols: T; N.
R-phrases: 61-50-62.
S-phrases: 53-45-61.
No Note, no specific concentration limits.


DBP is produced by the reaction of phthalic anhydride with n-butanol in the presence of concentrated sulphuric acid as a catalyst. Excess alcohol is recovered and recycled and the di-n-butyl phthalate is purified by vacuum distillation and/or activated charcoal.

The largest usage of DBP is as a plasticiser in resins and polymers such as polyvinyl chloride. DBP is also used in printing inks, adhesives, sealants/grouting agents, nitrocellulose paints, film coatings and glass fibres. In Cosmetics it is used as a perfume solvent and fixative, a suspension agent for solids in aerosols, a lubricant for aerosol valves, an antifoamer, a skin emollient and a plasticiser in nail polish and fingernail elongators (IPCS/WHO, 1995).


In 1998 the production volume of DBP in the EU was estimated at 26,000 tonnes, of which 8,000 tonnes was thought to be exported outside the EU (Industry,1999). This leads to a use volume of about 18,000 t/a. 

There is no import of DBP from outside the EU. 

There is a clear decreasing trend in the production of DBP: 49,000 t/a (1994) - 37,000 t/a (1997) - 26,000 t/a (1998).

DBP is produced at two sites in the EU: Ludwigshafen, Germany (BASF) and Marl, Germany (Oxeno). The Production at Pioltello, Italy (Sisas), the BP site at Hull in the United Kingdom and the Lonza site at Porto Marghera, Italy, stopped in 1998.