Propylene Glycol Ethers

Ethoxy Propanol

Ethoxy Propanol (also known as propylene glycol ether;  Arcosolv PE; ethyl proxitol; and propylene glycol monoethyl ether) is a clear liquid that has a characteristic ether-like odour.  It has the formula C5H12O2 and it is miscible with water, is hygroscopic, and it also provides good solvency for a wide variety of substances, including resins, inks, and adhesives.

Production

Ethoxy Propanol is a member of the Propylene Glycol Ether family.  These Propylene glycol ethers are formed from the base catalysed reaction of propylene oxide with alcohols.

Storage and Transport

Ethoxy Propanol has a specific gravity of 0.895 and a flash point of 40.5oC (Closed cup).  This low flash point means Ethoxy Propanol is regarded as Flammable and is classified as Dangerous goods class 3 and in pack group III.

It is transported by marine, rail, and road, primarily in bulk, but can also be transported as a packed product.  When being transported it should be in carbon steel or stainless steel vessels which should be tightly closed and properly vented.  The vessels should be stored in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area that is away from all ignition sources.

Uses

Ethoxy Propanol is used in a range of industrial, professional, and consumer applications as it provides good solvency  due to its’ bi-functional nature.  It is miscible with both polar and non-polar substances and is an effective solvent for a wide variety of resins, which include epoxies, acrylic, alkyds, polyesters, nitrocellulose, and polyurethanes.  It also provides low toxicity and this is another property which is valued by the users.

Ethoxy Propanol  is employed mainly in the surface coating and printing industries as it can regulate the flow, levelling, and coalescence of both surface coatings (including water-based paints), and of flexographic printing inks.  It is also utilised as a chemical intermediate in the production of agro-chemicals and in the production of de-icing/anti-icing formulations.

Ethoxy Propanol is also utilised in the cleaning industry where it provides cleaning formulations with surface tension reduction, a fast evaporation rate, and low toxicity.

New markets may open up for Ethoxy  Propanol as it can provide a solvent power, viscosity, and volatility that is similar to the ethylene oxide-based glycol ethers which are now facing some pressure from air and workplace regulations around the world.  Ethoxy propanol can provide higher workplace exposure limits and, at present, is not listed as a HAP (Hazardous Air Pollutant) by the US Federal Government Clean Air Act.