Replacement of dibutyl phthalate used in the determination of oil absorption number (OAN)

The present work describes the replacement of DBP by Pionier TP 130 C in the determination of OAN used to characterize the structure or aggregate morphology of carbon blacks. The OAN investigation was done by varying the testing oil, equipment and type of carbon blacks while using the same methodology. It is demonstrated that Pionier TP 130 C can achieve OAN values comparable to that of DBP for soft and hard blacks, as well as for thermal blacks.

Critical debates regarding health concerns linked to the use of phthalates have been ongoing for many years. Since 2005, the European Parliament has forbidden the use of six phthalates at concentrations greater than 0.1 % by mass of plasticized material for the production of toys and childcare articles (1) namely DEHP (bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate known as dioctyl phthalate (DOP)), DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate), BBP (benzyl butyl phthalate), DINP (diisononyl phthalate), DIDP (diisodecyl phthalate) and DNOP (di-n-octyl phthalate). In 2008, the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) included the phthalates DBP, DEHP and BBP on the list of 15 substances of very high concern (SVHC) (2). Recently ECHA started to intensify the discussions about limitation of DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP (diisobutyl phthalate) (3). Legal limitations for the phthalates are also imposed by REACH (4).
The phthalates are plasticizers with unique properties and are used mainly as additives for plastics (5 – 8), thermoplastic polyurethane (9), polar synthetic rubbers (10 – 13) and for the determination of oil absorption capacity of fillers (14 – 16). For all these applications, the phthalates substitution is a focus of continued research work. This study will discuss the replacement of DBP employed in the determination of oil absorption number (OAN). This method is applied to characterize the structure or aggregate morphology of carbon black (17, 18).

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