Product overview

about propylene glycols

MPG and DPG are produced in a two-step process. The first step is the reaction of propylene oxide with water into a mixture of MPG and DPG and the second step is the distillation and purification of the mixture into its two separate components.

MPG

MPG is the largest volume propylene glycol. It is a colourless, viscous, odourless liquid. It is highly hygroscopic and miscible in all ratios with water, alcohols, esters, ketones and amines. It has limited miscibility with halogenated hydrocarbons and is not miscible with aliphatic hydrocarbons.

MPG's most important end use is in the production of unsaturated polyester resins which, in turn, are used to make everyday items such as bath tubs, small boats and water/chemical tanks and pipes.

Other end use application areas are paints and coatings, aeroplane de-icers/anti-icers, antifreeze and industrial coolants, detergents, hydraulic fluids and cosmetics.

We also supply United States Pharmacopia (USP) grade MPG that meets strict product quality and handling standards for applications such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and foodstuffs.

Guidelines for Handling and Distribution of Propylene Glycol USP/EP

DPG

DPG is also a colourless, hygroscopic liquid, miscible with water in any ratio and highly soluble in most organic solvents.

The end uses of DPG include unsaturated polyester resins, plasticisers, alkyd resins, cosmetics and urethane polyols.

What are our key strengths in the propylene glycol sector?

  • Well-established presence across the globe through a strong supply network
  • Strong, integrated position in Asia Pacific
  • Strong product stewardship commitment

Product data

Product/Grade Description Download
Dipropylene glycol Dipropylene glycol (C6H14O3) is a mixture of the isomers 1,1'-oxidi-2-propanol (CAS 108-61-2), 2-(2'-hydroxypropoxy)-1-propanol (CAS 106-62-7) and 2,2'-oxidi-1-propanol (CAS 110-98-5). It is a colourless, hygroscopic liquid, miscible in water in any ratio and highly soluble in most organic solvents. Datasheet
Monopropylene glycol Monopropylene glycol (C3H8O2), also known as 1,2-Propanediol or 1,2-propylen glycol (CAS 57-55-6), is a colourless, viscous, odourless liquid. It is highly hygroscopic and miscible in all ratios with water, alcohols, esters, ketones and amines. It has limited miscibility with halogenated hydrocarbons and is not miscible with aliphatic hydrocarbons. Datasheet
Monopropylene glycol (USP) MPG - USP is the US Pharmacopoeia compliant grade of monopropylene glycol (MPG). It is a clear, colourless and practically odourless, hygroscopic liquid, completely soluble in water. MPG - USP is miscible in all proportions with low molecular weight aliphatic alcohols and ketones. It is slightly to moderately soluble in aromatics hydrocarbon solvents and only slightly miscible with aliphatics hydrocarbon solvents. Datasheet

History in PO and derivatives

Substantial capacity growth has been fuelled by continual developments in our proprietary SM/PO technology and world-scale, integrated manufacturing assets strategically placed to meet customer needs.

This same commitment drove the establishment of our polyurethanes research and technology centre in Bangalore, India, providing our customers with practical advice and support on the issues that matter to their industries.

Year Event
1957 First propylene oxide plant acquired in Carrington, UK
1959 First polyether polyols produced in Carrington
1964 New polyol plant starts up in Pernis, The Netherlands
1970 New TDI/MDI joint venture plant starts up in Antwerp, Belgium (halted production in 2003)
1971 Major polyol plant expansion at Pernis, The Netherlands
1980 First SM/PO plant starts commercial production in Moerdijk, The Netherlands
1988 New "product" laboratory opened in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
1990 Polyols and SM/PO de-bottlenecking in The Netherlands
1997 Shell Seraya Research Laboratory opens in Singapore
1997 SM/PO, polyols, MPG plants start up in Singapore
1998 New rigid polyols facility starts up at Pernis, The Netherlands
1999 New SM/PO plant starts up in Moerdijk, The Netherlands
1999 New polymer polyol capacity becomes available
1999 Shell/Huntsman strategic alliance on rigid foam urethanes
2002 New SM/PO, polyols plant starts up in Singapore
2003 New styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) polymer polyol plant in The Netherlands
2006 SM/PO and derivatives plants come on-stream at CSPCL Nanhai in China
2007 Closure of polyether polyols plant at Carrington UK
2008 Opening of new R&D centre in Bangalore, India. Expansion of polyols plant at Pernis, The Netherlands
2009 Shell Chemicals celebrates 50 years of polyols
2011 Modifications at Pernis increases capacity of CASE polyols

More in Chemicals product portfolio

Propylene oxide

Propylene oxide is a chemical building block for the manufacture of a versatile range of derivatives including polyols and propylene glycols.

Ethylene glycols

Ethylene glycols are key intermediates in the production of polyester fibres, packaging and resins and are also used in everything from antifreeze and plasticisers to glues and film.