Butyl glycol likes other glycol ethers, it has a bi-functional nature, containing both an ether and an alcohol group in the same molecule.
It is miscible with water and with common organic solvents and has the formula C6H14O2. It has been produced commercially for over half a century where it is most commonly used in the paint industry.
Butyl glycol is produced by reacting ethylene oxide and normal butanol (n-butanol) using a catalyst. If the ratio of ethylene oxide to n-butanol is greater than one then di- and tri- ethylene glycol monoethers are also produced.
Applications of Butyl Glycol
Butyl glycol usage is dominated by the paint industry which consumes approximately 75 % of all the BG produced. This is because it is a low volatility solvent and it can therefore both extend the drying times of coatings and improve their flow.
Other applications include use 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 major component of Corexit 9527, which is an oil spill dispersant product.
It is also a chemical intermediate and, as such, is a starting material in the production of butyl glycol acetate which is, itself, an excellent solvent. It is also a starting material in the production of plasticisers by the reaction of phthalic anhydride.
Butyl glycol is also something that is used regularly in most households as it is a component of many home cleaning products. It provides very good cleaning power for domestic cleaning products and also provides the characteristic odour that we associate with many of these products. It also plays the same role in some industrial and commercial surface cleaners.
2-Butoxyethanol is used in food processing as a processing aid, sanitizer, solvent, etc 2-Butoxyethanol is an organic solvent with the formula C6H14O2. It is a colorless liquid with a sweet, ether-like odour. It is a butyl ether of ethylene glycol, but should not be confused with it. The main use of 2-butoxyethanol is as a solvent in paints and surface coatings, followed by cleaning products and inks. Other products which contain 2-butoxyethanol include acrylic resin formulations, asphalt release agents, firefighting foam, leather protectors, oil spill dispersants, bowling pin and lane degreaser, and photographic strip solutions. 2-Butoxyethanol is a primary ingredient of various whiteboard cleaners, liquid soaps, cosmetics, dry cleaning solutions, lacquers, varnishes, herbicides, and latex paints. It also seems to be excellent at killing most insects and arachnids.
Butyl Glycol (2-Butoxy Ethanol) is employed primarily in the production of lacquers based on nitrocellulose, cellulose ethers and chlorinated rubber. Small quantities are also used combination lacquers. Solutions of nitrocellulose in Butyl Glycol may be diluted with large quantity of white spirit, aromatic hydrocarbons or ethanol without adversely affecting the film property. Small quantities of Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether improves both the flow and dilution capacity of the lacquers and also enhance the gloss of the resultant lacquer films.