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dioctyl phthalate (dop)
CAS No. 117-81-7

Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, commonly abbreviated DEHP, is an organic compound with the formula C6H4(C8H17COO)2. It is sometimes called dioctyl phthalate and abbreviated DOP. It is the most important "phthalate," being the diester of phthalic acid and the branched-chain 2-ethylhexanol. This colourless viscous liquid is soluble in oil, but not in water. It possesses good plasticizing properties. Being produced on a massive scale by many companies, it has acquired many names and acronyms, including BEHP and di-2-ethyl hexyl phthalate.

The process entails the reaction of phthalic anhydride with 2-ethylhexanol:

C6H4(CO)2O + 2 C8H17OH → C6H4(CO2 C8H17)2 + H2O

Approximately three billion kilograms are produced annually.

Due to its suitable properties and the low cost, DEHP is widely used as a plasticizer in manufacturing of articles made of PVC. Plastics may contain 1% to 40% of DEHP. It is also used as a hydraulic fluid and as a dielectric fluid in capacitors. DEHP also finds use as a solvent in glowsticks.

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