The three isomers of diethylbenzene:
ortho-, meta-, and para-diethylbenzene
(left to right)
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Flash point||134.6 °F / 57 °C|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Diethylbenzene (DEB) refers to any of three isomers with the formula C6H4(C2H5)2. Each consists of a benzene ring and two ethyl substituents. The meta and para have the greater commercial significance. All are colorless liquids.
- Ortho: known as 1,2-diethylbenzene and o-diethylbenzene.
- Meta: known as 1,3-diethylbenzene and m-diethylbenzene.
- Para: known as 1,4-diethylbenzene and p-diethylbenzene.
Production and applications
Diethylbenzenes arise as side-products of the alkylation of benzene with ethylene, which can described as two steps. The first step is the industrial route to ethylbenzene, which is produced on a large scale as a precursor to styrene.
- C6H6 + C2H4 → C6H5C2H5
The diethylbenzene is an inadvertent side product.
- C6H5C2H5 + C2H4 → C6H4(C2H5)2
Using shape-selective zeolite catalysts, the para isomer can be produced in high selectivity.
- C6H4(C2H5)2 + C6H6 → 2 C6H5C2H5
Diethylbenzene is used in a mixture with methyl and/or ethyl biphenyls as a low temperature heat transfer fluid.
Diethylbenzene is dehydrogenated to give divinylbenzene (DVB):
- C6H4(C2H5)2 → C6H4(C2H3)2 + 2 H2
DVB is used in the production of crosslinked polystyrene.
- Karl Griesbaum, Arno Behr, Dieter Biedenkapp, Heinz-Werner Voges, Dorothea Garbe, Christian Paetz, Gerd Collin, Dieter Mayer, Hartmut Höke (2002). "Hydrocarbons". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a13_227. ISBN 3527306730.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- Buske, Gary R.; Wenger, Terry L.; Beyrau, John A. (Nov 11, 1986), Heat-transfer fluid, retrieved 2016-06-30
- Denis H. James William M. Castor, "Styrene" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2005. doi:10.1002/14356007.a25_329.pub2.