Diethyl phthalate is a colourless, odourless, and oily liquid. It is miscible with ethanol and ethyl ether. Diethyl phthalate is soluble in acetone, benzene, carbon tetrachloride, alcohols, ketones, esters, and aromatic hydrocarbons and partly miscible with aliphatic solvents. Diethyl phthalate, when exposed to heat, decomposes and emits acrid smoke and irritating fumes. It is incompatible with strong oxidisers, strong acids, nitric acid, permanganates, and water and attacks some forms of plastics. Diethyl phthalate is produced in the reaction of phthalic anhydride with ethanol in the presence of concentrated sulphuric acid catalyst.
Special Hazards of Combustion Products: Irritating vapors of unburned chemical may form in fire.
This plasticizer increases the fexibility of plastics. It is
also contained in deodorant formulations, perfumes,
emollients, and insect repellents. It can cross-react
with dimethyl phthalate.
Wash the ester with aqueous Na2CO3, then distilled water, dry (CaCl2), and distil it under reduced pressure. Store it in a vacuum desiccator over P2O5. [Beilstein 9 IV 3172.]
A clear, colorless liquid without significant odor. More dense than water and insoluble in water. Hence sinks in water. Primary hazard is to the environment. Spread to the environment should be immediately stopped. Easily penetrates soil, contaminates groundwater and nearby waterways. Flash point 325°F. Severely irritates eyes and mildly irritates skin. Used in the manufacture of perfumes, plastics, mosquito repellents and many other products.
Symptoms unlikely from any form of exposure.
A phthalate metabolite with genotoxic effect.
ChEBI: The diethyl ester of benzene-1,2-dicarboxylic acid.
Diethyl phthalate is an ester. Esters react with acids to liberate heat along with alcohols and acids. Strong oxidizing acids may cause a vigorous reaction that is sufficiently exothermic to ignite the reaction products. Heat is also generated by the interaction of esters with caustic solutions. Flammable hydrogen is generated by mixing esters with alkali metals and hydrides. Can generate electrostatic charges. [Handling Chemicals Safely 1980. p. 250].
Ethyl phthalate used in manufacture of celluloid; solvent for cellulose acetate in manufacture of varnishes and dopes; denaturing alcohol. Vehicle for fragrance and cosmetic ingredients.
Air & Water Reactions
Insoluble in water.