The Uses and Safty of 1,2-Propanediol

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The Uses and Safty of 1,2-Propanediol Empty The Uses and Safty of 1,2-Propanediol

Post  xiaohua on Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:23 pm

1,2-Propanediol, also known as Propylene glycol, is a colorless, odorless, viscous, highly hygroscopic liquid with a faintly sweet taste. It is miscible with water, ethanol, ether, chloroform, acetone and other organic solvents. The solubility to hydrocarbons and chlorinated hydrocarbons is small, but it is strong than ethylene glycol. 1,2-Propanediol contains an asymmetrical carbon atom, so it exists in two optically active forms (dextrorotatory and sinistrorotatory isomers). And the commercial 1,2-propanediol is a racemic mixture.

1,2-Propanediol is an important raw material in unsaturated polyester, epoxy resins, polyurethane resins, plasticizers and surfactants. The amount occupies about 45% of total consumption. This unsaturated polyester is largely used for surface coatings and reinforced plastics. Because of good viscosity and moisture absorption, and non-toxic, 1,2-Propanediol is widely used as a hygroscopic agent, antifreeze, lubricants and solvents in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. In the food industry, 1,2-propanediol and fatty acid reacts to produce propylene glycol ester of fatty acid, which is mainly used as food emulsifier. It is also used as solvent for spices, seasonings and food coloring. What's more, 1,2-propanediol is used as a humidifying agent of tobacco, mildew preventive, fruit ripening preservatives, film-forming coatings additives, antifreeze and heat transfer media, etc. It is often used as a substitute for ethanol and glycerol. In pharmaceutical industry, 1,2-Propanediol is commonly used as solvent in the manufacture of various types of ointment, softener, excipients, preservatives, vitamins, penicillin, etc. As 1,2-propanediol has good solubility with various spices, it is also used as solvent of cosmetic and softeners, etc.

The 1,2-propanediol is low toxicity. So the acute oral toxicity is very low, and large quantities are required to cause perceptible health damage in humans. In the human body, 1,2-propanediol is metabolized into pyruvic acid (a normal part of the glucose-metabolism process, readily converted to energy), lactic acid (a normal acid generally abundant during digestion), acetic acid (handled by ethanol-metabolism), and propionaldehyde.


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