Ethylene Glycols Chemistry

Ethylene glycols (EG), referred to as monoethylene glycol (MEG), diethylene glycol (DEG), triethylene glycol (TEG) and tetraethylene glycol (TETRA EG) are colorless, low-volatility, low-viscosity, hygroscopic liquids. They are completely miscible with water and many organic liquids.

Ethylene glycols are members of the class of compounds called alcohols and part of the group of chemicals called diols, because they have two hydroxyl groups attached to separate carbon atoms in an aliphatic (hydrocarbon) chain. Ethylene glycols have properties characteristic of alcohols and undergo reactions typical of alcohols and diols.

The structural formulas of ethylene glycols (and their isomers) are:

Ethylene Glycol

CH2 – OH
 |
CH2– OH

Diethylene Glycol

      CH2 – CH2 – OH
    /
O
    \
      CH2 – CH2 – OH

Triethylene Glycol

CH2 – O – CH2 – CH2 – OH
 |
CH2 – O – CH2 – CH2 – OH

Tetraethylene Glycol

      CH2 – CH2 – O – CH2 – CH2 – OH
    /
O
    \
      CH2 – CH2 – O – CH2 – CH2 – OH

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