Dibasic ester, also known as DBE, is a type of ester belonging to carboxylic acid. This ester is colorless, non-flammable, non-corrosive, completely biodegradable and has a faint distinctive fruity smell. Since it is a mixture of glutaric, adipic and succinic dimethyl esters, it has low volatility and high flash point. Due to its low volatility, it can be recycled and reused as it evaporates slowly.
Dibasic esters are produced from the esterification of carboxylic acid using a catalyst. Basically, adipic acid, succinic acid and glutaric acid are combined and reacted with methanol in the presence of an acidic catalyst to give monomethyl ester. This ester then reacts with the methanol to produce aqueous dibasic ester. This mixture of esters is finally separated using distillation.
Dibasic ester is widely used as a solvent due to its important stripping property of being able to dissolve polar substances like polyesters, polyurethane, coatings, ink, etc. It provides great color development due to its low flocculating property.
It is used as an oilfield drilling fluid as it aids in preventing fluids from entering the drilled bore, maintains cool temperature of the drill bit, prevents corrosion of drill bit, and provides hydrostatic pressure.
It is used in coil coatings, can coatings, architectural and industrial coatings due to its low volatility, high solvency in many organic solvents and resins, good flow and uniform levelling characteristics.