Propylene Glycol

Ethylene Glycol vs. Propylene Glycol

Are you looking for a reliable source of ethylene glycol or propylene glycol? Ethylene glycol (EG) and propylene glycol (PG) are types of alcohol that have industrial applications thanks to their ability to lower the freezing point of water. Their high boiling points also contribute to their versatility.

What Are the Differences Between Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol?

EG and PG can be useful in various applications, but there are significant differences between the two, and they are not interchangeable. Ethylene glycol is toxic. Ingesting a small amount can lead to severe poisoning and is potentially fatal, causing acute damage to the kidneys and central nervous system.

On the other hand, propylene glycol is generally considered safe. You would have to ingest an extraordinary amount of it very quickly to face any adverse effects. Because of its robust safety profile, proven many times across decades, it is commonly used as a food additive for both humans and animals.

Not all propylene glycol is “food grade,” so it’s crucial to ensure you’re purchasing the right type for your needs. Industrial-grade propylene glycol is generally less expensive and sold in larger quantities. Food-grade propylene glycol is also USP-certified. This stands for “United States Pharmacopeia,” a nonprofit regulatory body that evaluates voluntarily submitted products against science-based quality standards, ensuring that they do not contain harmful levels of contaminants, toxic botanical species, or greater amounts of active/marker compounds than that indicated on the product specification and label.

It’s important to note that propylene glycol is not made from ethylene glycol or vice versa. Although both are ultimately derived from petroleum or natural gas most of the time, they use different raw materials and undergo different processing. Food-grade propylene glycol is produced under rigorous standards to ensure safety for human consumption.

What Are the Common Uses of Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol?

Although they have some similar chemical properties, the distinct safety profiles of ethylene glycol and propylene glycol mean they are used very differently. Here are some of the most common uses for each:

Common Ethylene Glycol (EG) Uses

  • Antifreeze and Coolants: Excellent heat transfer properties make EG ideal as a coolant.
  • Hydraulic Fluids: EG-based hydraulic fluids are associated with reduced wear and tear.
  • Inks and Dyes: EG-based inks and dyes are sought after for their colorfast properties.
  • Plasticizers: EG-based plasticizers enhance the flexibility of plastic during production.

Common Propylene Glycol (PG) Uses

  • Food Industry: PG’s principal use in foods is to maintain moisture and influence texture of baked goods.
  • Pharmaceuticals: PG is a versatile solvent used in a wide variety of oral, injectable, and topical drugs.
  • Cosmetics and Personal Care: PG helps maintain moisture and add to skin penetration for cosmetics.
  • Antifreeze and Coolants: PG is the preferred coolant option in systems where toxicity is a concern.

Propylene glycol is good for two years when stored at room temperature in closed containers away from sunlight.

Buying Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol

Both ethylene glycol and propylene glycol are available in concentrated or water-diluted solutions. Keller-Heartt offers propylene glycol in both 55-gallon drum and 330-gallon tote sizes. Our offerings include 100% concentrate, 50/50 (50% glycol, 50% water and other), and USP Kosher varieties, among others.

Looking for ethylene glycol? Our selection of heat transfer ethylene includes 100% concentrate and 50/50 solutions in our popular 55-gallon drum size, which combines convenience with the efficiency and savings possible only when you buy in bulk.

Keller-Heartt is a Leading Source of High-Quality Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol

Ethylene glycol and propylene glycol need to be manufactured under the highest standards, then stored and shipped correctly to extend their life spans. Keller-Heartt offers you fast, convenient shipping with no tacked-on shipping fees. You pay a predictable, affordable price and save even more thanks to our bulk products.

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