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The alcohols (NBA, IBA, and 2-EH) have some uses just as solvents, but are primarily used as feedstocks for other products. About 50 percent of 2-EH is used to make plasticisers – chiefly Di Octyl Phthalate (DOP).  Smaller amounts are used to make 2-EH acylate, 2-EH nitrate, a diesel fuel additive and lube additives.  NBA is a feedstock for butyl acrylate and methacrylate, butanol-based glycol ethers, butyl acetate, and in some plasticizers.  IBA is used as a solvent for nitrocellulose, in hydraulic fluids, and as a resin modifier. DOP is a plasticizer, which is material interested into a plastic (typically PVC) to enhance its flexibility and malleability.  Diisononyl phthalate (DINP) is also a plasticiser with 95 percent used in European PVC.

Health risks include irritation to the eyes, skin and respiratory tracks when inhaled.

In Europe DOP has been re-labelled to a higher-risk category, featuring the skull and crossbones on packaging and machinery where it is used. DINP remains in the category below but is under investigation. Producers argue that some of DOP’s poor image comes from its association with PVC. They dismiss the Swedish study which led to the re-labelling of the product as it is based on a rat’s reaction to DOP, significantly different, say producers, from a human reaction.

Oxo-Alcohol feedstocks are:  Butanols: Propylene, N.Butyraldehyde; Isobutanol-Propylene and  Isobutyraldehyde; 2EH-N.Butyraldehyde (from Propylene); DOP-2EH andPhthalic Anhydride; DINP-Isononyl Alcohol and Phthalic Anhydride

ICIS pricing quotes oxo-alcohols in EuropeAsia-Pacific and the USA.

To find out more Oxo-Alcohols Methodology September 2013

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