Market analysis


Phosphonates are salts and esters of phosphonic acid or, more generally, organic phosphonic acids derived from R-PO(OH)2 (R = alkyl- or aryl-rests). Primary salts exist as (M'H2PO3) snd secondary (M'2HPO3) phosphonates. (M': monovalent metal).

Donauchem GmbH offers various phosphonates from its portfolio under the name DonPlex.

Phosphonates differ from classical phosphoric acid esters in that they have a direct carbon-phosphorus bond (C-P), whereas phosphoric acid esters have a carbon-oxygen-phosphorus bond (C-O-P). Phosphonates can coat cations such as Ca2+, which changes the chemical behaviour of the cation.

Phosphonates are used in a wide variety of applications such as water treatment, detergents and cleaning agents, oil fields, agrochemicals, the paper industry, the general chemical industry and construction chemicals. They are complexing agents and in many cases serve primarily as water softeners.

Chemical classification





One of the biggest challenges for the next decades will be to produce enough food for the global population. Phosphonates are important building blocks in formulations for fertilisers, crop protection products and other agrochemicals. Phosphonates stabilise products and increase their shelf life.

Detergents and cleaning agents, dishwasher tabs

Phosphonates are contained in the above products, in tabs in solid powder or granular form, and act as hardness stabilisers, as well as dispersing soil particles, removing stains and stabilising disinfectant and bleaching ingredients.

Oilfield chemicals

Oilfield chemicals and products for oil and gas production also contain phosphonates as ingredients. They also act as stabilisers, prevent deposits, improve the permeability of oil-bearing rock layers and prevent corrosion of machinery and equipment.

Construction chemicals

In solid, powdery and liquid construction chemicals, various phosphonates serve as setting retarders or accelerators (concrete, gypsum). In ceramic masses, slurries and pigment paints, phosphonates also serve as liquefiers and rheological aids.

Industrial water treatment

The need for and importance of industrial water is enormous worldwide and the demand is constantly increasing. Phosphonates are used in large quantities in various formulations for the treatment of process water, boiler water and feed water for stabilisation, hardness stabilisation and for the prevention and removal of deposits. At the same time, phosphonates prevent corrosion in the plants. Environmentally friendly and environmentally compatible products are also a must in the extraction, purification and recycling of water.

Paper and pulp

Products made of paper and pulp are part of our daily life; from the daily newspaper to various hygiene products, nappies, etc. In order to optimise energy consumption and material yield and the increasing use of secondary raw materials, the use of phosphonates within the production of paper and pulp is indispensable. Here, too, phosphonates are mainly used for stabilisation and dispersion.

Further applications

Further applications of phosphonates are in the production of textile and leather products, the metal industry as well as in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry.


DonPlex portfolio of Donauchem GmbH

Complexing agents

EDTA - Na4 
GLDA - Na4
Citric acid, Sodium citrate
Tetrasodium EDTA 
Tetrasodium glutamate diacetate
Potassium/Sodium phosphonate, Polyphosphonate
Sodium Gluconate

GenaYou will find more detailed information in our portfolio. If you have technical questions or detailed questions about our products, please contact us.

Donauchem GmbH

Related links/Sources:
Phosphonate (Stand: 2.1.2023)
Wikipedia (Stand: 2.1.2023)


Write a comment Close comment
Security code*
 Security code