Dibutyl phthalate

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A colorless, odorless, oily liquid commonly used as a plasticizer in coatings, adhesives, and elastomers. In the textile industry, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is used as a lubricating agent and is sprayed on textiles as an Insect repellent. DBP is also used as a solvent for printing inks, paper coatings, resins, and perfume oils.


Chemical structure

Dibutyl phthalate.jpg

n-butyl phthalate; DBP; dibutylphthalate; 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid dibutyl ester; phthalic acid dibutyl ester


  • Toxic, inhalation and ingestion may cause irritation to the respiratory and digestive systems.
  • Skin contact causes irritation.
  • Combustible. Flash point = 157 C (315 F)
  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble is ethanol, ether, acetone benzene. Insoluble in water.

Composition C16H22O4
CAS 84-74-2
Melting Point -35 C
Density 1.0459 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt.=278.35
Refractive Index 1.490
Boiling Point 340 C

Resources and Citations

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966 Comment: Flash point = 160C; bp = 200-216C
  • Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986
  • Website: www.haz-map.com/allergic.htm
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: ref. index=1.490