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The Properties And Uses of Propylene Glycol

Views: 252     Author: Vickey     Publish Time: 2023-10-19      Origin: Site

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The Properties And Uses of Propylene Glycol

Properties of Propylene Glycol

It is now widely used across a number of economic industries. Due to the characteristics that define it, it is used in the automotive, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries.

Basic characteristics and specifications of propylene glycol:

1. It has an oily, tasteless liquid that is flavourless, colourless, and odourless.

2. It has a high viscosity greater than ethylene glycol.

3. It is a hygroscopic substance, which means that it easily absorbs water, such as from the air around it.

4. It is soluble in water, acetone, and chloroform.

5. A variety of resins, colours, and essential oils dissolve perfectly in it.

It has a density of 1.04 g/cm3 and is very water-soluble and hygroscopic. This is because it has two hydroxyl groups close to its carbon atoms, which can be seen in its structural formula.

Propylene glycol, also known as propanediol, has physical characteristics that are comparable to those of ethylene glycol due to the relatively similar molecular structures of the two substances. Its scientific name is propane-1,2-diol. Propylene glycol is non-toxic, in contrast to ethylene glycol.

Glycol is produced on an industrial scale through the catalytic and non-catalytic hydration of propylene oxide. If a non-catalytic process is used, the temperature of the process taking place exceeds 200–220 oC. Processes occur at lower temperatures, not surpassing 180 oC, when we use ion exchange resins or modest volumes of sulfuric acid (as catalysts). 20% propane-1,2-diol, 1.5% dipropylene glycol, and trace amounts of polypropylene glycols make up the final product. Waste products can also be used to produce propylene glycol. It is then referred to as bio-propylene glycol.


Uses of Propylene Glycol

There is a long list of domains and sectors where propylene glycol is used. Propylene glycol is frequently used at home. So, let’s pay attention to what propylene glycol is used for:

1. In the cosmetics industry, as an ingredient in creams, an additive to toothpastes, mouthwashes, and stick deodorants;

2. In medicine and pharmacy, as a liquid for distributing the active ingredients of drugs;

3. In the food industry, as an agent that facilitates food processing and improves appearance, taste, and shelf life;

4. Fragrance carrier in fragrance oils and massage oils;

5. For the production of electro-insulating varnishes, brake fluids, and coolants;

6. For the production of auxiliary materials in foundry technologies;

7. For the production of resins and adhesives;

8. In space technologies, as a coolant or a component of a coolant;

9. In the plastics industry, as a hygroscopic agent;

10. In tobacco products, as a nicotine diluent.

The aforementioned bio-propylene glycol has a wide range of applications, both as a finished good and as a chemical synthesis intermediate. It is primarily employed in the production of detergents, polyester resins, antifreeze fluids, and operating fluids for cooling systems. Additionally, it can be discovered in mixes that serve as an antifreeze or solvent.


Propylene Glycol's Application in Cosmetics

Due to its unique qualities, propylene glycol is widely employed in the creation of cosmetics all over the world.

Being a moisturising agent, it keeps moisture in the stratum corneum when used as a cosmetic element. It is well-tolerated and shouldn't irritate or produce redness. This humectant's inclusion in the preparation offers defence against drying and serves as one of the factors that encourages percutaneous transit.

Propylene glycol is its INCI name. The International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients is known as INCI. All member nations of the European Union, as well as China, Japan, and the United States, recognise this system. All ingredients and materials used in cosmetics are listed under INCI. Except for substances of plant and animal origin, whose names are written in Latin, all substance names are given in English. Keep in mind that the order in which the information appears on the package label or leaflet is not random. Always specify the ingredients in order of concentration.

Let's quickly review the details of glycol's use in cosmetics:

1. Function: humectant, solvent, plasticizer.

2. Top benefits: it retains water in the skin.

3. Who should use it? Anyone who needs good skin hydration.

4. How often should it be used? If allergies do not occur, then regularly, at least once a day.


The Presence of Propylene Glycol in Food Products

E 1520 is the brand name for propylene glycol among food additives. Consumers frequently inquire as to what glycol is and its function in the food sector. Propylene glycol is present in foods as a humectant and solvent, which is important to know when thinking about all the meals to which it is added. Additionally, propylene glycol serves as a thickening, adjuvant, antioxidant, flavour enhancer, emulsifier, adjuvant, stabiliser, and anti-caking agent. Additionally, it can be found in various kinds of food colouring and flavourings, like the vanilla or almond extracts that are frequently used in baked goods. It is frequently used as a thickening for sauces or as an addition to stop food from spoiling.

Should we be concerned about glycol, given how frequently it is used in the food industry? Given that it is only used in small amounts, it is regarded as safe for use in food. Please be aware that the FDA regulates the amount of propylene glycol in food to guarantee its safe usage and consumption. To guarantee the highest level of safety, the FDA limits the applications and dosages of propylene glycol and other chemicals that may be used in foods and beverages. Propylene glycol is being consumed at a level that is both safe and far below the level of concern, making it a secure food additive.


Health Effects of Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol is not a substance that can cause cancer, mutations, or reproduction problems. Despite worries about irritation, clinical investigations have demonstrated that it does not lead to skin sensitization. But more investigation has conclusively shown that this substance is safe for customers.

Because propylene glycol is a hygroscopic or humectant substance, this could be an issue. When skincare products contain a moisturiser, like propylene glycol, to help with penetration, they may allow dangerous substances to enter the skin where they otherwise would not be able to. Moisturisers absorb moisture from everything around them. These molecules may harm the lipid barrier and irritate the skin if they are skin toxins like pollution or chemicals. In these situations, we are dealing with an allergic response to the effect of a glycol-based preparation. For this reason, it is not advised to use cosmetics or products containing glycol on youngsters or those with sensitive skin.

There is currently no information available regarding the effects of so-called e-cigarettes on human health or the long-term effects of breathing propylene glycol and glycerol, which are ingredients in the liquid used in these devices. This liquid is made up of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine (glycerine derived from vegetable fats), suitable fragrances, and nicotine. They vaporise when heated and are inhalable. The majority of the liquids used in e-cigarettes nowadays contain them.


FAQs About Propylene Glycol

1. Can propylene glycol and ethylene glycol be combined?

Ethylene and propylene glycol should not be combined. The fundamental distinction between ethylene glycol and propylene glycol is how dense each substance is. In coolants, mixtures with water and other chemicals are employed. When both forms of glycol are used, it can be challenging to monitor the fluid's resistance to freezing, which can have a severe impact on the cooling system and engine performance.

2. Is propylene glycol dangerous?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared that propylene glycol is "generally recognised as safe". It has been questioned numerous times whether this chemical is poisonous and harmful. As well as the prevalence of allergies, cases of eye or skin irritation have been documented in the literature. However, it should be remembered that this substance has undergone extensive testing and has a long history of safe use, such as in cosmetics. Additionally, ethylene glycol, which is significantly more hazardous than propylene glycol, is frequently mistaken for it.

3. What are the signs of a propylene glycol allergy?

Please be aware that this chemical may cause allergies. When an allergy to another chemical is suspected, sensitization to propylene glycol is frequently identified. Rash, itching, a runny nose, and nausea are some of the responses it produces. Itchy blisters and a very unpleasant rash are possible side effects. If we see one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, we should speak with a qualified medical professional.

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