Mono Ethylene Glycol

Mon ethylene glycol (MEG), is miscible with water, alcohols, and many organic compounds, and has the formula C2H6O2.  It is the most important of the commercially available ethylene glycols as it is an important raw material for industrial applications. A primary use of MEG is in the manufacture of polyester (PET) resins, films and fibers. In addition, MEG is important in the production of antifreezes, coolants, aircraft anti-icer and deicers and solvents.

Mono-ethylene glycol – or MEG – is a vital ingredient for the production of polyester fibers and film, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resins and engine coolants.


Mono Ethylene Glycol is produced by the oxidation of ethylene at a high temperature in the presence of a silver oxide catalyst.  The ethylene oxide is then hydrated to yield mono ethylene glycol with di and tri ethylene glycols as co-products.

Global demand for MEG is strong with demand estimated at 18 million tons in 2008 and forecasts suggesting that this demand could rise to 25 million tons by 2015.  Demand is strongest in China where approximately 70% of the world’s MEG output is consumed.


Applications of Mono Ethylene Glycol

There is strong global demand for Mono Ethylene Glycol as it is a vital ingredient in the production of polyester fibers, films, and resins, one of which is polyethylene terephthalate (PET).  The PET is then converted into plastic bottles which are used globally.  It is estimated that 70-80% of all the MEG consumed is used as a chemical intermediate in these polyester production processes.

The second largest market for MEG is in antifreeze applications where it is a component in the manufacture of antifreeze, coolants, aircraft anti-icer, and de-icers.

It is used in cells cooling the car, the plane, the bus and all automotives. The monoethylene glycol anti-freeze, having a low freezing point mixed with water, is commonly used in air conditioning as glycol cooling works below freezing temperature of 0 °C. The ethyelene glycol lowers the freezing point of the water proportionally on mixture, as propylene glycol antifreeze mix also does.

Mono ethylene glycol colour can be blue antifreeze, green and colorless depending on additives.

Mono ethylene glycol also has humectant properties and this makes it ideal for use in the fiber treatment of textiles, the paper industry, and in adhesives, inks, and cellophane.

It is also a used as a dehydration agent in natural gas pipelines where it inhibits the formation of natural gas clathrates before being recovered from the gas and reused.

End uses for MEG range from clothing and other textiles, through packaging to kitchenware, engine coolants and antifreeze. Polyester and fleece fabrics, upholstery, carpets and pillows, as well as light and sturdy polyethylene terephthalate drink and food containers originate from ethylene glycol. The humectant (water attracting) properties of MEG products also make them ideal for use in fibers treatment, paper, adhesives, printing inks, leather and cellophane.


Mono Ethylene Glycol: