Dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether (also known as Methoxy Propoxy Propanol, Oxybispropanol, dipropylene glycol methyl ether, DPM, and Dowanol DPM) is a propylene oxide-based, or P series, glycol ether and has the formula C7H16O3. It is a clear, colourless, viscous liquid which has a slight ether odour. It is completely soluble in water and is miscible with a number of organic solvents, for example, ethanol, carbon tetrachloride, benzene, petroleum ether, and monochlorobenzene. It is also practically non- toxic, and is hygroscopic, and thus lends itself well to commercial and industrial use.
Dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether is produced by the reaction of propylene oxide with methanol using a catalyst.
Storage and Distribution
Dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether is stored in mild steel and /or stainless steel tanks and/or drums and can be transported by bulk vessels or tank trucks. It should be stored away from heat and sources of ignition in a cool and well-ventilated area. It has a specific gravity of 0.95 and a flash point of 75oC (closed cup) and is not regulated for any form of transport.
Dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether is a very useful industrial and commercial chemical. One of its main commercial uses is as a solvent for paints, varnishes, inks, strippers, and degreasers. It is also utilised as a coalescing agent for water-based paints and inks where it promotes polymer fusing during the drying process. It is also a component of wood and coil coatings, as well as coatings used in the automotive industry, industrial maintainence, and metal finishing. It is also a component of hydraulic fluids and industrial degreasers and is a chemical additive in the oil production and drilling industry.
DPM is a useful chemical building block in the manufacture of other products as it reacts with acids to form esters, oxidising agents to form aldehydes or carboxylic acids, alkali metals to form alcoholates, and aldehydes to form acetals. It is this flexibility that supports the use of DPM across a range of industries and DPM is, therefore, a component of many household items that people use every day. It is found in ceiling and wall paints, and in many common cleaners including glass and surface cleaners, paint-brush cleaners, all-purpose cleaners, carpet cleaners, and disinfectant cleaners. It is also found in cosmetics where it provides emoillient properties and product stabilisation. It is also found in floor polish and aluminium polish, leather and textile dyes, rust removers, and pescticides where it acts as a stabiliser.
DPM is also a chemical intermediate in the production of Dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether acetate, or DPMA.