Triethylene glycol, also known as TEG, appears as a colorless odorless viscous liquid. It has relatively good hygroscopic properties which aids in the dehumidification of fluids. It is widely used in manufacturing of vinyl polymers as a plasticizer. It is also used in sanitizing products such as disinfectants.
Triethylene glycol is manufactured by two processes, oxidation and hydration. Ethylene is oxidized at the beginning, with silver oxide catalyst, to produce ethylene oxide. Subsequently, the oxide is hydrated to produce Triethylene glycol.
Oil and Gas Industry
Triethylene glycol is as a dehydrating agent to remove water molecules from natural gases. This dehydration process is especially important in as high humidity levels in natural gases can lead to implications such as freezing of pipelines.
It is used as a relatively mild disinfectant for the removal of bacterias from surfaces. It has also been shown that it is capable of deactivating influenza viruses such as the H1N1 influenza A virus.