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Properties Of PBTC 50

by Lynne

PBTC or Phosphonobutane tricarboxylic acid or PBTCA is a chemical compound famous for its anti-corrosion and anti-scaling properties. Its structural resemblance to carbolic and phosphoric acids makes it an effective scale inhibitor for carbonates, sulfates, and phosphates.

It is chemically stable, has a balanced pH value, and works excellently in hard water. However, some other properties make it suitable for industrial applications. The article talks about the chemical properties of the pbtc scale inhibitor.

Chemical Properties of PBTC

  • PBTC 50% has chemical properties that aid the chelation process for heavy metals.
  • It improves the solubility of Zinc salts. Moreover, combining it with Zinc salts also enhances its inhibition properties.
  • The anti-scaling properties are considerably better than other organophosph-ines at higher temperatures.
  • Solid state PBTC 50% is easily dissolvable, has an excellent composite synergy and has a higher resistance to oxidizing compounds like chlorine and bromine.
  • Usually, PBTC is a colorless compound, or sometimes it also exhibits a light-yellow color.
  • The pH value is 1.5 to 2.0, which is an ideal acidic potential for anti-scaling tasks.
  • Water molecules adsorb the anions of PBTC 50% and begin exhibiting dispersion properties more strongly.
  • PBTC exists in three states: aqueous (colorless or slightly yellow), white crystal powder, and refined white powder.
  • If stored properly, the shelf life of PBTC 50% is 12 months.
  • Also, PBTCA has a higher tolerance; therefore, it maintains its prominent inhibition effect under high-temperature, strong acidic conditions, higher alkali concentrations, and increased pH levels.

Applications of PBTC 50

  • Mainly used as industrial coolants and cleansers.
  • Liquid detergents and dishwashing agents
  • Metal surface treatments
  • Medical applications
  • Corrosion and scale inhibitor in water circulating and refilling systems

How To Treat Water Using PBTC?

Commonly two inhibitors are used to treat water during industrial processes. HEDP acid and PBTC. Calcium carbonates are a significant constituent of the scale. Therefore, first, the crystals from the Calcium are separated at room temperature. The method uses fundamental chemistry principles where the negatively charged ions of the inhibitors join with the positive ions of the carbonates. A strong adsorption effect takes place, ceasing the carbonates’ growth.

The carbolic acid groups in the PBTC attract the positive calcium ions. PBTC has a significant application in water treatment plants as it perfectly blocks the scaling reactions of calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate.

Due to the highly stabilizing effects, PBTC can stabilize Zinc ions in a water system with a pH of 8.3. Furthermore, it can stabilize Zinc at a higher pH value, like 9.5.


Water carrier channels eventually develop scale. Scale refers to the accumulation of sulfates, phosphates, and carbonates. Anti-scaling and anti-corrosive agents like PBTCA and HEDP eliminate the accumulating salts.

It is important to note that PBTC and PBTCA are two names for the same compound. However, PBTCA indicates a more robust version of PBTC but exhibits almost the same properties.

There are other organic phosphine scale inhibitors, but they contain higher concentrations of Phosphorus which damage the environment. In contrast, PBTC has lower Phosphorus concentrations and good anti-scaling properties.

Moreover, it has better stability in increased pH levels, water hardness, acidic and alkali scale salts, etc. therefore, most industries prefer PBTC to other anti-scaling elements.

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