Diethylene glycol is a colourless liquid with a chemical formula of C4H10O3. It is miscible in water, alcohol, ether, acetone and ethylene glycol. It is a straight chain aliphatic compounds terminated on both ends with a hydroxyl group. Diethylene glycol is hydrophilic due to their alcohol and ether functional group.
Diethylene glycol is produced by the partial hydrolysis of ethylene oxide. By adjusting the conditions used in this reaction, varying amount of diethylene glycol and related glycols can be produced. Diethylene glycol is usually a by-product in the reaction to form ethylene glycol and triethylene glycol.
Diethylene glycol is used to manufacture unsaturated polyester resins, polyurethanes and plasticizers.
Diethylene glycol is used as a building block in organic synthesis.
Diethylene glycol is used as a solvent for nitrocellulose, resins, dyes, oils and other organic compounds. It is used as a solvent in textile dyeing and printing.
It is used as a humectant for glue to prevent it from drying up.
It is used as a humectant for tobacco, cork and printing ink. It is also used in braking fluid, lubricants, wallpaper strippers, artificial fog and haze solutions as well as cooking fuel. In petroleum refining, it is used as a selective solvent for aromatics.