Ethylene glycol is used for the manufacture of polyester fiber for clothes, upholstery, carpet, and pillows and the blending of automotive engine antifreeze and coolant. Ethylene glycol is also used to manufacture fiberglass for products such as jet skis, bathtubs, and bowling balls. A major use is in the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin, a recyclable plastic, such as soda and water bottles.
It is a colorless, practically odorless, poisonous, and hygroscopic liquid with a sweetish taste. It is miscible in water, alcohol, ether, acetone, and ethylene glycol.[ It is a solvent for nitrocellulose, resins, dyes, oils, and other organic compounds. It is a humectant for tobacco, cork, printing ink, and glue. It is also a component in brake fluid, lubricants, wallpaper strippers, artificial fog solutions, and heating/cooking fuel. In personal care products (e.g. skin cream and lotions, deodorants).
It is used as a plasticizer for vinyl. It is also used in air sanitizer products. TEG is used by the oil and gas industry to "dehydrate" natural gas. It may also be used to dehydrate certain other gases. It is necessary to dry natural gas to a certain point, as humidity in natural gas can cause pipelines to freeze, and create other problems for end users of the natural gas. Triethylene glycol is placed into contact with natural gas, and strips the water out of the gas. Triethylene glycol is heated to a high temperature and put through a condensing system, which removes the water as waste and reclaims the TEG for continuous reuse within the system.
Dipropylene glycol finds many uses as a plasticizer, an intermediate in industrial chemical reactions, as a polymerization initiator or monomer, and as a solvent. Its low toxicity and solvent properties make it an ideal additive for perfumes and skin and hair care products. It is also a common ingredient in commercial fog fluid, used in entertainment industry smoke and haze machines.
- It is a colorless, nearly odorless, clear, viscous liquid with a faintly sweet taste, hygroscopic and miscible with water, acetone, and chloroform. As an ingredient in the oil dispersant Corexit, used in great quantities during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
- As a solvent in many pharmaceuticals, including oral, injectable and topical formulations (notably, diazepam, which is insoluble in water, uses propylene glycol as its solvent in its clinical, injectable form)
- As a humectant food additive, labeled as E number E1520
- As an emulsification agent in Angostura and orange bitters
- As a moisturizer in medicines, cosmetics, food, toothpaste, shampoo, mouth wash, hair care and tobacco products
- As a carrier in fragrance oil
- To produce polyester compounds
- As a base in deicing solution
- As an ingredient in massage oils
- In hand sanitizers, antibacterial lotions, and saline solutions
- In smoke machines to make artificial smoke for use in firefighters' training and theatrical productions
- In electronic cigarettes, as a vaporizable base for diluting the nicotine liquid
- As a solvent for food colors and flavorings
- As an ingredient, along with wax and gelatin, in the production of paintballs
- As a moisture stabilizer (humectant) for snus (Swedish style snuff)
- As a cooling agent for beer and wine glycol jacketed fermentation tanks
- As a nontoxic antifreeze for winterizing drinking water systems, and in applications where the used antifreeze eventually will be drained into the soil, water, or a septic system
- As a less-toxic antifreeze in solar water heating systems
- As a solvent used in mixing photographic chemicals, such as film developers
- In cryonics
- As a working fluid in hydraulic presses
- As a coolant in liquid cooling systems
- To regulate humidity in a cigar humidor
- As the killing and preserving agent in pitfall traps, usually used to capture ground beetles
- As an additive to pipe tobacco to prevent dehydration
- To treat livestock ketosis
- As the main ingredient in deodorant sticks
- To deice aircraft
- As an ingredient in UV or blacklight tattoo ink As a lubricant in air conditioning compressors As a wetting agent, used to determine drying time in paints and coatings
Hexylene Glycol is a clear, colourless liquid with a characteristic odour. It is fully miscible in water and has the chemical formula C6H14O2. Hexylene glycol is a compound that appears in a large number of products that are used commercially and industrial. The single largest user of hexylene glycol is the industrial coatings industry which uses approximately 45% of the HGL produced world-wide. It is a component in lacquers and varnishes, and is a solvent plasticiser in surface coatings. It is also a component in both oil and water- based paints, and in paint strippers.