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Ester alcohol - esterification for various industries

Alcohol Ester

Esters are often used as solvents in construction and renovation applications. TERSol C-12 is a typical ester alcohol that is used as an additive in paints, parquet sealants, inkjet inks and emulsion paints (i.e. water-based latex paints).

Due to its mild aromatic smell and bactericidal properties, the chemical is also used as preservatives in the chemical industry and as flavors and fragrances in cosmetics and personal care products.

TER Chemicals is a trusted alcohol ester supplier of high-quality specialty chemicals that works with a global network of manufacturers. As an experience distributor we have the expertise to help you find the right product regardless of your industry.

Ester alcohols offer many benefits in chemistry:

  • Improving the film formation of water-based paints and coatings
  • Improving the weather resistance, hardness and durability of coatings
  • Lowering the minimum film-forming temperature of latex paints
  • Improving the fusion of paints as coalescing agents
  • Eliminating the need for any subsequent treatments in winter for protection against freezing temperatures
  • As a solvent in metal cleaning

The ester alcohol 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentandiol monoisobutyrate is a mixture of several organic compounds that belong to the ester alcohol family. The colorless liquid with a characteristic faint odor is an ester of isobutyric acid and has the chemical formula C12H24O3.

So how are esters formed?

Esters are important derivatives of carboxylic acids. There are a high number of varieties of esters. Esterification takes place when alcohol reacts with carboxylic acid in the presence of another acid (such as concentrated sulfuric acid), which acts as a catalyst. This addition-elimination reaction breaks down the carboxylic acid into water and an ester.

A long-chain polymer with alternating acid and alcohol groups can be formed by a reaction involving an alcohol with two OH groups and a carboxylic acid with two COOH groups. A well-known example of this is PET plastic.


Ester alcohol is known for its excellent film-forming properties in emulsion paints, industrial paints, wood paints and many other applications.

Ester alcohol is a VOC-free film-forming agent for aqueous coating materials. Particularly in water-based paint systems, it helps ensure optimal film formation, thus greatly enhancing the properties of paints and varnishes. A small amount is all it takes to allow dispersed polymer particles to form a homogeneous film. This is crucial in cases when the film-forming temperature of the binder is higher than the ambient temperature.

TERSol C-12 alcohol ester can also be used as a slow-evaporating solvent. In coil-coating systems, printing inks and enamels, the product extends the open time and is therefore a perfect coalescing agent. Coalescence is an extremely important process in the film formation of water-based paints or binder-based paints diluted with water. The addition of ester alcohol lowers the minimum film-forming temperature and surface tension. 

When ester alcohol is added as a coalescing agent to coatings, they become harder, more durable and therefore less susceptible to soiling and damage. The use of ester alcohol also gives coatings a natural gloss.

Another advantage of ester alcohols is that they are not considered VOCs because their boiling points are above 250 degrees Celsius. This means that these chemical compounds do not readily turn into a gas or vapor at room temperature.

As a specialty chemicals distributor, TER Chemicals focuses on this application of ester alcohol and works with reliable manufacturers to supply you with a product that can be applied to all kinds of surfaces (such as metal, wood, plastic, paper, concrete and masonry).

Ester alcohol is not only an excellent coalescing agent for paints and coatings, but also a very good organic solvent for adhesives. Solvent-based adhesives transition from their original liquid state to the final solid state as the solvent diffuses and evaporates.

Ester alcohol keeps an adhesive liquid and processable. It also has a very strong influence on adhesion, air-drying time and open time. This means ester alcohol can be used to improve wetting ability, loosen dried adhesives and modify drying time as required.

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Contact Person


Technical Sales Manager Coatings & Construction

Contact Person


Technical Sales Manager Adhesives, Plastics, Rubber