Hexylene glycol (also known as HGL, 2-methyl pentane-2,4-diol, pinakon and Diolane) 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 industrially.
Hexylene glycol is formed from the achiral reagents hydrogen and diacetone alcohol.
Storage and Distribution
Hexylene Glycol is stored in bulk storage or stainless steel drums and is transported by tank truck. It is classed as non-hazardous for air, sea, and road freight but is classed as an irritant. It has a specific gravity of 0.925 and a flash point of 93 °C (closed cup).
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.
Hexylene glycol is also used as a chemical intermediate, which accounts for approximately 20% of its consumption, and another 10% is used on oil and natural-gas fields where it is both a down hole lubricant, and a grinding and extraction aid.
Hexylene glycol is also employed as an antifreeze, and as a coupling agent for hydraulic fluids. It is a moisturising, and setting, agent in the manufacture of textiles and can also be found in the cosmetics industry where it is a component of fragrances and bath, hair, and soap preparations. It also has a role as a wetting agent in pesticide formulations and is a solvent in the preparation of dyes.