Plasticizers are a vital constituent to make soft PVC where durability and flexibility are important properties - in flooring, artificial leathers, tarpaulins, toys, automotive interiors, cables, etc. Chemically, plasticizers are mostly esters. An ester is an acid reacting with alcohol creating an ester and water. The chemical name of the plasticizer/ester is based on the type of alcohol and acid. A phthalate-free plasticizer basically means it is not produced from phthalic anhydride. All esters which are not based on phthalic anhydride can be considered phthalate-free. Phthalic anhydride is produced by oxidation of ortho-xylene. (Ortho-) phthalates are those esters that produced from phthalic anhydride. Phthalate-free are those esters based on other acids which do not contain significant impurities of phthalic anhydride. Many opine that a sensible application should not try to simply look for phthalate free alternatives but for alternatives which are not migrating. – not only a phthalate-free plasticizer but also because a non-migrating plasticizer.
Perstorp’s Pevalen™ is a high performance non-phthalate plasticizer meeting market demand in sensitive applications. Pevalen™ is a plasticizer based on well-proven, reliable chemistry. As a non-phthalate plasticizer alternative it does not compromise performance in any way. It is very efficient, leading to less plasticizer being used in the formulation. In combination with low migration and volatility, the performance is unmet by other plasticizers. It also displays excellent UV stability making it a perfect choice in applications exposed to sunlight. It is easier and faster to blend with PVC than most other plasticizers. This reduces processing time, helps in increasing capacity of existing production line, and maintains a low production cost ensuring a robust manufacturing process. It is a well-proven product that is REACH-registered. It is based on food-approved raw materials and the process for obtaining food contact approval is underway. Evonik has launched a new generation of PVC plasticizers under the ELATUR® product brand. Production has been launched for the phthalate-free plasticizer 1,2-Cyclohexa dicarboxylic acid diisononyl ester. The advantageous properties of this plasticizer are apparent in every method of thermoplastics processing and the processing of plastisols. The products are fully compatible with PVC and show an outstanding cold flexiblity.
Plasticizers based on rapidly renewable feedstocks are being developed. PolyOne has teamed up with leading global agricultural company Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) of Decatur, Illinois to develop and commercialize plasticizers based largely upon rapidly renewable feedstocks. reFlex100 is a high-solvating, biobased plasticizer that has earned a USDA BioPreferred® Label certifying to 94% biobased content. It helps recover this lost productivity in both phthalate and non-phthalate systems. It is a suitable alternative to traditional high solvating phthalates such as DBP and BBP as well as high solvating plasticizers such as benzoates, can be blended with both phthalate and non-phthalate systems to improve the gel rate, efficiency and heat stability of the system. It has many performance similarities which may allow its substitution for BBP as well as other high solvating plasticizers such as DBP and benzoates. It is certified under the standards of the USDA BioPreferred program to be 94% biobased. Companies utilizing reFlex100 at loadings as low as 20 phr may be able to have their products certified under the USDA BioPreferred Label program potentially qualifying for Federal Procurement Preference by the U.S. Government. Dow’s ECOLIBRIUM™ Bio-Based Plasticizers, provide a renewable alternative that is phthalate- and lead-free, with the same performance and feel of standard plasticizers - and at a comparable cost. They meet all regulatory requirements for flame resistance, while increasing your potential for LEED and other carbon credits. And because they are made from renewable content, these Plasticizers can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% compared with existing PVC compounds. That minimizes the carbon footprint of the product and also reduces dependence on crude oil. Myriant's bio-succinic acid can be formulated into plasticizers that produce flexible PVC with mechanical properties similar to those produced by DOA. Bio-succinic acid can be used to produce plasticizers that are phthalate-free, with higher renewability content than traditional adipate plasticizers. Plasticizers made with bio-succinic acid demonstrate low temperature flexibility and migration similar to DOA. They can be useful as a secondary plasticizer with DOP.