DBE - solvent 'tinged with green' - safe solvent selector guide

Pigment & Resin Technology

ISSN: 0369-9420

Article publication date: 1 June 2000




(2000), "DBE - solvent 'tinged with green' - safe solvent selector guide", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 29 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/prt.2000.12929cab.028



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

DBE - solvent 'tinged with green' - safe solvent selector guide

DBE - solvent "tinged with green" - safe solvent selector guide

Keywords: DuPont, Solvents

More and more traditional solvents are moving on to The Registered Index because they are carcinogenic, destroy the ozone layer, or lead to volatile organic emissions.

The portfolio of dicarboxylic dimethylesters from DuPont (DBE - dibasic esters) offers an alternative to chlorinated and other classified solvents. DBE is stated to be classified as "non-hazardous" according to all EU criteria. Its properties claim to combine an excellent solvency power with a high level of safety in the work place, and it is environmentally friendly.

This new six page brochure provides comprehensive information about properties, applications and sources of supply for this solvent. Furthermore, it explains how generic solvent characteristics can be used to define its relative risk potential and how this can be used for the development of safer formulations containing DBE.

The brochure is accompanied by inserts:

  • the technical data sheet of the DBE product range;

  • the distributor network list for Europe/Middle East/Africa, with an individual assistance request sheet;

  • a Safe Solvent Selector Guide which compares the risk potentials and vapour hazard ratios (VHR) of 16 different common solvents in comparison to DBE. These last tables provide a quick and up-to-date reference. This is especially important for the risk assessment of a solvent, because the official exposure limits (MAK values) are updated annually and can change dramatically.

The brochure (in English) (Ref. lto: DBE-EU-99-OS) can be ordered through every listed distributor, or from Du Pont de Nemours (Deutschland) GmbH, Nylon Speciality Intermediates, DuPont-Str. I, D-61343 Bad Homburg, Germany. Tel: +49 61 72 871313 (direct); Fax: +49 61 72 871314; e-mail: GeraltLAltnau@deu.dupont.com

DuPont believes that if the aim is to improve safety in the workplace, protection of the environment and maintain product properties, then DBE - dibasic esters - from DuPont are a good alternative to traditional solvents like methylene chloride, acetone or toluene, to name but a few. The high flash point and the comprehensive toxicity testing of DBE allow a high level of safety: as already mentioned, DBE is classified as "non-hazardous" according to all EU criteria, and as "WGK I" according to the German Water Endangering Classification, which is the lowest classification out of three. In many cases the high solubility power of DBE is thought to lead to improved product properties and this is often in combination with a reduced amount of solvent needed. If drop-in-replacement is not possible - because the solubility properties of pure DBE are too different - a reformulation with other safe solvents will, it is reported, usually lead to a reduction of the risk potential and easier handling.

The primary refined ester product is designated DBE, containing the di-methyl esters of glutaric, succinic and adipic acid. These are acids which can be found in nature, which helps to understand why DBE is said to be readily biodegradable. DBE is described as a clear, colourless liquid, with a high boiling point and a high flash point, and it has a mild odour. DBE is produced from dibasic acids manufactured at DuPont adipic acid plants (adipic acid is a key-intermediate for the production of nylon polyamides). DBE can be fractionated into three mixtures of two components and the three pure esters. DBE and its fractions are readily soluble in alcohols, ketones, ethers and most hydrocarbons, but are only slightly soluble in water and higher parrafinic hydrocarbons.

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