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Features And Applications of Ethylene Glycol

Views: 233     Author: Vickey     Publish Time: 2023-10-13      Origin: Site


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Features And Applications of Ethylene Glycol

Because of its superior heat transmission capabilities, ethylene glycol, which is a member of the glycols chemical class, is a common constituent in refrigerants. Glycols are utilized in a number of heating and cooling operations, including HVAC systems, the manufacture of plastic molds, and food and pharmaceutical production. Ethylene glycol is used extensively in numerous industries, so it is important to understand this substance and its characteristics better.

Chemical and Physical Characteristics of Ethylene Glycol

Popular chemical substance CH2OH2, sometimes referred to as 1,2-ethanediol. The major source of information on ethylene glycol's and other chemicals' physical and chemical properties is the safety data sheet. The primary ingredient in antifreeze used in HVAC and automobile systems is ethylene glycol. Glycol's chemical formula makes it abundantly evident that it belongs to the class of compounds known as dihydroxy alcohols, or diols. Glycol is a colorless, highly viscous liquid with a sweet taste that is classified as an alcohol. It is quite soluble in aldehydes, ketones, and acetic acid in addition to having great miscibility with water, although it does not dissolve at all in carbon tetrachloride. Producing it is rather inexpensive. Its disadvantages include crystallization at low temperatures and a lesser capability to absorb heat (approximately 50% of water's heat capacity) as compared to propylene glycol.

Ethylene glycol has a low molecular weight and a high boiling point (197oC). This is because hydrogen bonds that occur between molecules in the liquid phase strongly bind those molecules together. The mixture of ethylene glycol and water can remain liquid at significantly lower temperatures than pure ethylene glycol, which freezes at roughly -13°C. For instance, a mixture of 40% water and 60% glycol may resist conditions as low as -37oC. It should be noted that ethylene glycol and water mix in all possible ratios. This is as a result of the two hydroxyl groups that are present in its structure.

Monoethylene glycol (MEG) is a term that one may come across while reading literature or manufacturer offers. Monoethylene glycol and ethylene glycol are the same chemical, though, so bear that in mind.

Production of Ethylene Glycol

Industrial-scale ethylene glycol production begins with the hydrolysis of ethylene oxide, which is created when ethylene is oxidized.

1. Manufacturing ethylene oxide

The initial step in the manufacture of ethylene glycol involves adding oxygen and ethylene to a multichannel reactor. With silver acting as a catalyst made of aluminum oxide, the reaction happens in the gas phase. The process produces a lot of heat and is quite exothermic.

2. Making and purifying ethylene glycol

Ethylene carbonate is created when ethylene oxide and CO2 combine, and it is subsequently hydrolyzed to produce ethylene glycol. With the aid of homogenous acid catalysts, both reactions are carried out in the liquid phase. The ethylene carbonate reactor receives a regenerated CO2 stream from the earlier reaction stages. The product's water is then removed before the ethylene glycol is further refined in two distillation columns. The closed-loop reactors receive the separated catalyst.

Basic Differences Between Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol

The degree of toxicity is one of the main distinctions between ethylene glycol and propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is not harmful; however, ethylene glycol is. The optimum heat transfer fluid is frequently ethylene glycol in situations where toxicity is unimportant. If ethanolene glycol is likely to be consumed or could unintentionally come into contact with food or liquid, it should not be utilized. Additionally, it shouldn't be utilized in heating or cooling systems in buildings like food processing facilities or other businesses that create goods meant for consumption. Propylene glycol is frequently employed when low toxicity is desired due to its low acute toxicity when taken orally.

The physical characteristics of each form of glycol vary. Additionally, their chemical compositions differ. Where performance is crucial and there is no direct contact with people or animals, ethylene glycol is frequently employed. Ethylene glycol is excellent at transferring heat and preventing frost. The outstanding heat transfer efficiency of glycol is facilitated by its low viscosity, and at lower temperatures, its transport qualities outperform those of propylene glycol. To transfer the same amount of energy as propylene glycol, however, requires more circulation of ethylene glycol due to its higher specific heat. Under the same circumstances, propylene glycol solutions have a higher pour point and viscosity than ethylene glycol solutions. First off, propylene glycol is thermally less efficient than ethylene glycol at lower temperatures.

Application of Ethylene Glycol

Because ethylene glycol is used so frequently in the automotive sector, it is important to understand what it is and how it works. There are numerous industrial and commercial applications for ethylene glycol. Additionally, this substance can be found in a variety of widely used household goods, including detergents, cosmetics, paints, and solvents for plastics.

The following are some more uses for glycol:

1. making glass fibers for products like water scooters, bathtubs, and bowling balls.

2. manufacturing ink for pens and other inks The viscosity of the ink is increased with ethylene glycol, which also lessens the possibility that it will evaporate.

3. liquid heat transfer fluids, such as those used in ice rinks, gas compressors, HVAC systems, and industrial coolants. Industrial coolants benefit from the qualities of ethylene glycol, which enable them to endure high temperatures while flowing through cooling systems.

Ethylene Glycol in Coolants

Apart from propylene glycol, ethylene glycol is a common ingredient in coolants for internal combustion engines due to its benefits. The primary function of the coolant is to efficiently absorb heat energy from the engine and release it into the environment through the radiator. As a result, the coolant keeps the engine from freezing in the winter and also serves as a coolant in the summer when it's hot. In addition to removing heat from the engine, the coolant must do a variety of other equally crucial tasks, including:

1. prevention of freezing: Ethylene glycol, a component of antifreeze substances, affects better heat transfer qualities, such as lower dynamic viscosity and increased thermal conductivity.

2. protection against cavitation: The coolant forms a cavitation pit-preventing protective layer that is efficient against freezing, boiling, and cavitation.

3. protection against corrosion of different engine components and the complete cooling system - this is made possible by the presence of synergistic corrosion inhibitors that shield the metals that are frequently employed in systems of this kind. This contributes to a high thermal efficiency and long service life.

4. prevention of the growth and buildup of pollutants in the system

Because it offers better heat transfer characteristics, such as a lower dynamic viscosity and a higher thermal conductivity, ethylene glycol is used in antifreeze products. In installations made of metals and their alloys like copper, brass, steel, cast iron, or aluminum, ethanol-based fluids can be used successfully. In these cooling systems, all conventional seals can be used without any issues.

The Prospects for Coolants

The growth of the worldwide automotive antifreeze market is aided by elements including the rising demand for high-performance automobiles and the rising use of high-quality, high-tech additives. The development of this industry is, however, partly hampered by changes in the cost of raw materials (such as crude oil) and the rising popularity of electric vehicles that run on batteries. The availability of new biotechnological refrigerants and antifreeze, which will enhance the quality of those currently in use, will undoubtedly complement the growth of the automobile antifreeze industry in the near future.

Ethylene glycol is available from Shandong Tsingrun Chemical Co., Ltd. Particularly in the automobile sector, the readily available ethylene glycol functions as emulsifiers and lubricating lubricants. It is a top-notch ingredient for the creation of coolants with unique specifications.

FAQs about Ethylene Glycol

1. Can propylene glycol and ethylene glycol be combined?

Every automobile owner who asks whether it is feasible to blend coolants based on various glycols wants an answer to this question. It shouldn't be carried out. The fundamental distinction between ethylene glycol and propylene glycol relates to their densities. The fluid's frost resistance is challenging to assess in practice, which might be problematic during the winter.

2. How can propylene glycol be distinguished from ethylene glycol?

These two glycols can be distinguished using a technique. It employs variations in ethylene and propylene glycol's refractive indices, specific densities, and physical qualities. The latter is a crucial factor in identifying the type of relationship we are dealing with. A particular tool called a refractometer reads the refractive index of the substance when a few drops of it are placed on its prism, allowing for identification.

3. What distinguishes ethylene glycol from glycerol?

Both substances are members of the same chemical class, the alcohols. The number of -OH hydroxyl groups in the molecules makes a difference. While ethylene glycol is a derivative of ethane (ethanediol), glycerol is a derivative of propane (propanetriol). They both lower the freezing point and raise the boiling point in aqueous solutions. When choosing between glycerol and ethylene glycol, it is wise to utilize the former due to its safety. It has less of an adverse effect on the environment.

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