Tributyl phosphate (TBP)


Appearance Colorless to slightly light yellow liquid
Formula C12H27O4P
CAS No. 126-73-8
EC No. 204-800-2
HS CODE 2919900020
Content (%) ≥99
Density(20℃)g/ml 0.978
Acid Value(mgKOH/g) 0.068
Water(H2O)% ≤0.12
Melting Point  -80 °C(193 K)
Boiling Point  289 °C(562 K)
Synonyms Phosphoric acid, tri-n-butyl ester; tri-n-butyl phosphate;
Butyl phosphate; Phosphoric acid tributyl ester; celluphos 4; TBP; n-Butyl Phosphate


Product Description

Solvent Properties

TBP is an effective solvent for a wide range of organic compounds. It is miscible  with

various organic solvents, including hydrocarbons, alcohols,and ethers. This makes it

suitable for use in extraction processes, where it can selectively dissolve and extract

specific compounds from mixtures                     

Selective Metal Extraction

TBP has a high affinity for metal ions, particularly those with high charge densities.

It forms stable complexes with metal ions, enabling the extraction and separation

of metals from aqueous solutions. This property is extensively utilized in hydrometallurgy,

such as the extraction of uranium from uraniumore or the recovery of valuable metals

from spent nuclear fuel.

Flame Retardant

TBP exhibits flame-retardant properties, making it useful in applicationswhere fire

resistance is desired. It finds use as a flame retardant in plastics,polymers, and other

materials to improve their fire safety characteristics.




TBP is extensively used in the extraction and recovery of metal ions from ores, concentrates,

and aqueous solutions. It plays a crucial role in the production of nuclear fuel, where it

facilitates the extraction of uranium from uranium ore. It is also employed in the

reprocessing of spentnuclear fuel to recover valuable metals like uranium and plutonium.

Solvent and Extraction Processes

TBP’s excellent solvent properties make it suitable for use in various extraction processes.

It is employed in the separation and purification of organic compounds, such as the

extractionof rare earth elements, separation of organic acids, and purification of


Flame Retardant Applications

Due to its flame-retardant properties, TBP is utilized in the production of flame-retardant

plastics, polymers, and coatings. It helps to reduce the flammability and improve the fire

safety of these materials.

Industrial Processes

TBP finds use as an anti-foaming agent, plasticizer, and wetting agent in industrial

applications. It can stabilize process fluids, reduce foam formation, and enhance the

performance of certain

manufacturing processes.

Production Process


Preparation of Reactants

Phosphorus oxychloride (POCl3) and butanol (C4H9OH) are obtained as starting materials.

POCl3 is typically synthesized by the reaction of phosphorus trichloride (PCl3) with oxygen

or chlorine.


The reaction between POCl3 and butanol takes place in the presence of a catalyst, usually

a strong acid such as sulfuric acid (H2SO4). The reaction is an esterification process,

where the hydroxyl (-OH) group of butanol reacts with the phosphorusoxychloride to

form the ester, Tributyl Phosphate (TBP), along with the release of hydrogen chloride

(HCl) as a byproduct.


After the reaction, the crude TBP is obtained. It is typically a mixture of TBP, unreacted

butanol, and other impurities. The crude TBP is then subjected to purification steps to

remove these impurities. Purification techniques may include distillation, solvent extraction,

or other separation processes to obtain pure TBP.

Refining and Quality Control

The purified TBP is further refined to meet specific quality requirements. This may involve

additional purification steps, such as filtration or adsorption, to remove any remaining

impurities and ensure the desired purity of the final product. Quality control measures, such

as testing for chemical composition and physical properties, are employed to ensure that the

TBP meets the specified standards.

Packaging and Storage

Once the TBP has been produced and refined, it is packaged into suitable containers, such as

drums or tank farm.

Inspection process

          1. Incoming inspection: The main raw materials, such as phosphorus trichloride and n-butanol,

are inspected for their content, appearance and other main properties.

2. Feeding inspection: the principle of raw material feeding is first-in-first-out, and the appearance

of the main raw materials is randomly inspected according to whether there is a big change in the

storage conditions before feeding.

3. Batch sampling in the production process: During the production process, the main indexes of

each batch of products: content and acid value will be examined three times in different time periods.

4. Storage Inspection: Each batch (6 tons) is inspected before storage.

5. Outbound inspection: According to the quantity demanded by customers, the products will be

sampled and inspected.

6. Pre-shipment inspection: according to customer’s requirement, third party inspection can be

carried out on the products before shipment.

Inspection Method

Physical Appearance: Visual inspection

Purity Analysis:Gas chromatography (GC)

Acid Value:Potentiometric titration

Water Content:Moisture analyzers

Refractive Index:Refractometer

Density:Density meter


Packing & Delivery

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