Definition and Usage Areas of Butyl glycol
Butyl glycol is a clear, colorless oily liquid with a high boiling point, low volatility and slightly fruity odour. As with other glycol ethers, it is bifunctional, containing an ether and an alcohol group in the same molecule. It is completely miscible with water and a wide variety of organic solvents. This excellent miscibility makes it a versatile solvent and coupling agent offering excellent performance properties in a wide range of applications.
Its bifunctional nature also means exhibiting the reactions typical of an alcohol, ie. esterification, etherification, oxidation and formation of an ether with acetates and alcoholates, which forms peroxide in the presence of atmospheric oxygen.
Butyl glycol is produced by the reaction of ethylene oxide with normal butanol (n-butanol) in the presence of a catalyst.
Butyl glycol is a flammable material. Keep the product and empty containers away from heat, sparks and flames. Keep in accordance with good industry practices for safety and hygiene.
- Butyl glycol use is dominated by the paint industry, which consumes about 75% of all BG produced. This is because it is a low volatility solvent and therefore prolongs the drying times of coatings and increases the flow.
- Other applications are as a solvent in printing inks and textile dyes and as a component of hydraulic fluids. It is also a component of drilling and cutting oils and is a key component of Corexit 9527, an oil spill dispersant product.
- It is also a chemical intermediate and therefore a starting material in the production of butyl glycol acetate, which is itself an excellent solvent. It is also the starting material in the production of plasticizers by the reaction of phthalic anhydride.
- Butyl glycol is also something used regularly in most households, as it is an ingredient in many household cleaning products. It provides very good cleaning power for household cleaning products and also provides a characteristic odor associated with most of these products. It also plays the same role in some industrial and commercial surface cleaners.
- Butyl glycol is widely used as a solvent and coupling agent in water-based paints, coatings and inks; here it improves the flow of products and prolongs drying times. Urea is an effective flow enhancer for melamine and phenolic oven coatings.
- Butyl glycol is preferred in many products due to its mild fragrance. It acts as a solvent and coupling agent in many waxes, resins, oils and textile dyes and is used in many industrial, commercial and household cleaning products that offer the good cleaning power and fragrance typically associated with such products.
- It is an important starting material for various syntheses, which is one of the raw materials for the production of butyl glycol acetate and for the production of plasticizers by reaction with phthalic anhydride. It is also formulated in insecticides, herbicides, pesticides and cosmetics, and forms an ingredient in hydraulic fluids and cutting and drilling oils.