Mar 18, 2013
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Tributyl phosphate [CAS: 126-73-8, Trihydrate: 6131-90-4] is a clear, colorless, and odorless solvent that is used in a variety of applications. Tributyl phosphate is manufactured from the esterification of orthophosphoric acid in combination with n-butanol. Although it is commonly abbreviated TBP, tributyl phosphate also has several other synonyms such as phosphoric acid tri-n-butyl ester, tri-n-butyl phosphate, phosphoric acid tributyl ester, and n-butyl phosphate.
There are a number of applications in which tributyl phosphate is used. In particular, tributyl phosphate is used as an extractant and as a plasticizer in plastic manufacturing processes. Tributyl phosphate sometimes forms hydrophobic complexes with certain elemental metals; these complexes are miscible in organic solvents due to the hydrophobicity of the three butyl chains surrounding the phosphate group in the center of the molecule. Due to these hydrophobic properties, Tributyl phosphate is popular solvent for the extraction and purification of rare earth metals from deposits.
Tributyl phosphate is also used as a solvent for cellulose esters such as cellulose acetate and nitrocellulose. Tributyl phosphate is sometimes used as an odorless anti-foaming agent; because it is odorless, it is often used in products like detergents and other cleaning solutions. Additionally, tributyl phosphate is used as a component of hydraulic fluids, lubricants, as a solvent in inks, resins, paints, gums, adhesives, and various rubber production methods.
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