Butyl glycol is a clear, colourless oily liquid with a high boiling point, low volatility and a mild fruity odour. Like other glycol ethers, it has a bi-functional nature, containing both an ether and an alcohol group in the same molecule. It is fully miscible with water and a wide range of organic solvents. This excellent miscibility makes it a versatile solvent and coupling agent which offers excellent performance features in a wide range of applications.
Its bi-functional nature also means that is displays the typical reactions of an alcohol, ie. esterification, etherification, oxidation and the formation of acetates and alcoholates, as well as those of an ether, forming peroxide in the presence of atmospheric oxygen.
Butyl glycol is produced by the reaction of ethylene oxide and normal butanol (n-butanol) in the presence of a catalyst.
Synonyms: BG, 2-butoxyethanol, glycol monobutyl ether, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, 2-Butoxy-1-ethanol, Ethylene glycol butyl ether (EGBE)
Applications of Butyl Glycol
Butyl glycol is most commonly used as a solvent and coalescing agent in water-based paints, coatings and inks where it improves the flow of the products as well as extending their drying time. It is also an efficient flow improver for urea, melamine and phenolic stoving finishes.
Butyl glycol is also favoured in many products due to its mild odour. It acts as a solvent and coupling agent in many waxes, resins, oils and textile dyes, and is regularly used in many industrial, commercial and household cleaning products, where it offers good cleaning power as well as the odour typically associated with such products.
It is an important starting material for a variety of syntheses, being 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 into insecticides, herbicides, agricultural pesticides and cosmetic products, and is a component in hydraulic fluids and cutting and drilling oils.
Storage and Handling
Butyl glycol is a combustible material. Keep the product and any empty containers away from heat, sparks and flame. Handle in accordance with good industry practices for safety and hygiene. See product SDS for further information.