The aim of action B1 was to synthesize some dialkyl esters of IA in order to evaluate their potential application as reactive diluents for resins in several fields. In particular, the diethyl (DEI), di-isopropyl (DIPI) and di-n-butyl (DBI) ones were obtained in the lab scale and characterized. Therefore, the optimization of the reaction conditions was carried out in order to improve yields and productivity (kilograms) of these diesters to start supplying chain for action B5, B6 and B8 actions. The syntheses of the three itaconates were carried out with an acid-catalyzed esterification reaction between itaconic acid and a monoalcohol (see figure). All diesters are limpid colorless oily compounds. They were characterized by GC, GC-MS and NMR.Therefore, the synthesis in a larger scale were carried out, using the best reaction conditions providing the high yields: tens of kilograms of these esters were delivered to the technical responsible of the subsequent technical actions (i.e. B3, B5, B6, B7 and B8). DEI and DBI were used as diluents for essential oils tests. Three different essences were used: lemon, bitter orange and bergamot oils. Itaconates were compared to the diethylphthalate (DEP) used as reference material. The performances of DEI, DIPI and DBI as plasticizers for PVC were comparable with those classical plasticizers such as diethyl phthalate (DEP) and glycerol triacetate (GTA).
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