Diphenyl ether is widely used as a heat transfer agent and a dye carrier. It can be used alone or as a mixture with other materials. Because of its reactivity, It can also be used as a raw material or chemical intermediate to produce commercial products. Diphenyl ether is used in the production of:
- Diphenyl ether is employed as a processing aid in the production of polyesters. It acts as a chemical intermediate in the production of surface active agents and high temperature lubricants, fire retardants like polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and fragrance for detergents.
- Heat transfer media – like DOWTHERMTM fluids used for heating industrial processes
- Alkylated diphenyl oxides – used to make surfactants, greases and lubricants
- Halogenated diphenyl oxides – used in insecticides, wood preservatives, and flame retardants for appliance casings in consumer electronic products
- High temperature solvents
- Textile dye labeling
- Plastics – like ethylene-propylene-diene monomer (EPDM) rubber that is used for membrane roofing materials
- Diphenyl ether plays a vital role in the Ferrario reaction to produce phenoxathiin, which finds application in polyamide and polyimide production. Involving similar reactions, diphenyl ether is a significant side product in the high-pressure hydrolysis of chlorobenzene in the production of phenol.
- Diphenyl ether is found in alcoholic beverages. Diphenyl ether is present in muscat grapes, green tea, vanilla, lemon balm, buckwheat, potato chips and grilled beef. Diphenyl ether is a flavouring ingredient.
Colorless liquid with a mild pleasant odor. May float or sink in water. Freezing point is 81°F.
Diphenyl ether (diphenyl oxide) is a colorless liquid with a floral odor. It is a white, crystalline solid at temperatures below 80ºF (27ºC). It has low volatility, low solubility in water, and is stable at high temperatures. Avoid contact with oxidizing materials.
Liquid diphenyl oxide is used primarily in industry. It is used in the industrial setting as a heat transfer fluid. It is the major component of Dowtherm A® (an eutectic mixture of phenyl ether and biphenyl) and further as a chemical intermediate in the production of surface-active agents and hightemperature lubricants, and in perfumery due to its geranium-like odour (ACG99b). It is also used as a chemical intermediate in the manufacture of surfactants and fire retardants.
Diphenyl oxide (DPO) is manufactured using the direct phenol method.
Inhalation may cause nausea because of disagreeable odor. Contact of liquid with eyes causes mild irritation. Prolonged exposure of skin to liquid causes reddening and irritation. Ingestion produces nausea.
clear pale yellowish liquid after melting
ChEBI: An aromatic ether in which the oxygen is attached to two phenyl substituents. It has been found in muscat grapes and vanilla.
Diphenyl oxide can react with oxidizing materials. . A vigorous reaction occurred between the ether and chlorosulfuric acid.
Phenyl Ether is an Impurity of Propofol (P829750).
Air & Water Reactions
Insoluble in water.
Diphenyl oxide is combustible.
Crystallise the ether from 90% EtOH. Melt it, wash it with 3M NaOH and water, dry it with CaCl2 and fractionally distil it under reduced pressure. Fractionally recrystallise it from its melt and store over P2O5. [Beilstein 6 IV 562.]