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Phthalic anhydride is an organic compound and is the anhydride of phthalic acid. It is produced by heating phthalic acid and splitting off water. The partial oxidation of o-xylene produces the colorless, crystalline solid.
The main use of phthalic anhydride is as a base material for the production of plasticizers for plastics (particularly PVC). Furthermore, it is sold as a raw material for synthetic resins, as a component of surface coatings for wood, or for the preparation of dyes and pigments.