Methyl isobutyl carbinol (MIBC), an organic chemical compound, is a liquid derivative of acetone with a pungent alcohol odor. It has limited solubility in water, but is miscible with most organic solvents. The main uses of MIBC are as a frother in mineral flotation and in the production of lubricant oil additives.
Frothing, also known as froth flotation, is the process of selectively separating hydrophobic valuable minerals from hydrophilic waste gangue. In its simplest form, froth flotation is a method whereby minerals can be “skimmed” from the surface of “slurry” that is “foamed” with the assistance of specific chemicals, water and air bubbles.
MIBC is used as a frother in the flotation process in the mining of ores, such as copper and molybdenum sulfide, as well as coal. Compared to other frothers, Celanese’s MIBC product offers fast kinetics and excellent selectivity, and it forms dry but easy-to-break froths – increasing both the yield and the efficiency of mineral and metal recovery efforts. This technique results in an industry-leading way to separate valuable minerals from extracted ore.
MIBC can also be used in the production of lube oil additives (ZDDP) and for anti-wear and corrosion inhibitors – such as in the manufacture of brake fluid – and as a precursor to some plasticizers.