Physical characteristics Key technical properties Value/unit
Main applications
Evaporation rate: Medium Purity min 99.5% m/m Paints and coatings
Odour: Low Water content 0.05% m/m Inks & dyes
Solvency Power: High Acidity 0.002% m/m Cleaners
Impurities: Low Miscibility in water Complete Electronics
- Boiling point 120°C Pharmaceuticals
- Flash point 30°C Cosmetics
- - - Agrochemicals

Product overview

Propylene Oxide Glycol Ethers (POGEs) and their esters are colourless, stable liquids of medium to high boiling point and mild odour. They are often used in reformulation to compensate for the absence of aromatics for controlling viscosity, and for their ability to ‘couple’ aqueous and organic phases.

They mix with both water and other solvents, and combine powerful dissolving characteristics with medium to low volatility. This gives them some key performance including:

  • Miscibility with water
  • Compatibility with a wide range of polar and non-polar solvents
  • High solvent power
  • Medium-Low volatility
  • Coalescence and/or coupling

Methyl PROXITOL is the methyl ether of propylene glycol and has a slightly lower boiling point and higher evaporation rate than its Ethyl PROXITOL counterpart. It is completely water-soluble and is also compatible with many resins, greases, oils and waxes. Its ether and alcohol groups give it bi-functionality, with excellent coupling properties in aqueous-organic systems.

Their versatility means POGEs have multiple industrial and consumer uses, the most common ones being paints and coatings, cleaners, inks, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. In coatings POGEs provide good solvency for a wide variety of resins including acrylic, epoxies, polyesters, nitrocellulose and polyurethanes. For cleaners they offer low toxicity, good coupling, wetting and penetration, and high solvency for polar and nonpolar materials.

In the electronics industry POGEs may be used in conjunction with other solvents in the manufacture of laminates and in semiconductor processes which are used to make circuit boards. Other significant applications are agricultural, cosmetic, ink, textile and adhesive products.

POGEs can be used in combination with other glycol ethers or solvents to custom tailor properties to meet formulation requirements. They also have regulatory advantages, including higher workplace exposure limits than equivalent Ethylene Oxide-based Glycol Ethers.

Read PROXITOL Glycol Ethers product brochure

Applications

Coatings

Propylene Oxide Glycol Ethers (POGEs) and their Acetates are effective in many surface coating technologies including:

  • high and low solid coatings
  • waterborne emulsions
  • water-reducible coatings

As ‘true solvents’ POGEs are able to dissolve many resins in all proportions, and are particularly useful in promoting flow properties. They also encourage good gloss and film properties by maintaining the resin(s) in solution throughout the film formation process.

POGEs may also play an important part in meeting VOC regulations. Their high solvent power means they can be used in high solids coatings to maintain low viscosity and application performance properties.

Higher boiling POGEs and their Esters are efficient coalescent solvents in waterborne latex emulsions. They reduce film formation temperatures, allowing harder resins to be formulated into ambient cure coatings.

Industrial and household cleaners

POGEs can be used in all types of cleaners. They may help to reduce surface tension and are excellent coupling agents. Working in conjunction with a surfactant, they facilitate wetting of the surface, penetration of the soil, and help to suspend the soil in water until it is wiped or rinsed away.

The choice of glycol ether depends on the type of cleaning application, the nature of the soil, and the solubility and evaporation rate required. Blends of glycol ethers and surfactants can be used to optimise cleaning performance and efficiency.

Inks

Combinations of POGEs and other solvents can be used to achieve the right solvent power, evaporation rates, levelling properties, water miscibility and solubility for ink formulations. They can also be used to adjust surface tension and viscosity, promoting deep and even penetration of inks on soft substrates.

Cosmetics/personal care

The solvent and coupling properties of POGEs are utilised in many cosmetic and toiletry formulations. They can be used to stabilise emulsions used in lotions, preventing the active ingredient particles from dropping out of suspension. This helps to maintain the aesthetic appearance of the product and can increase shelf-life. They can also be used to improve water repellency in products such as sun screens.

How to buy from us

Shell Chemicals can supply a broad range of bulk hydrocarbon and chemical solvents to industrial customers. To make an initial enquiry,please complete this contact us to buy form.

Before you do, please read the following essential information on doing business with us:

Safety

Safety is our number one priority. As well as providing customers with information on the safe and environmentally responsible use of our products, we are committed to ensuring that risks to the safety of our staff and our contractors are reduced to the lowest reasonably practicable level. We therefore require assurance from customers that appropriate safety standards for unloading and storage are met before we make deliveries (see the HSSE addenda in our general Terms & Conditions of Sale below). Our HSSE specialists can provide guidance on these standards.

Delivery modes

Customers can order and have the product delivered by Shell or collect the product themselves from one of our manufacturing facilities. Available modes of delivery include truck, rail, or inter-modal (separate conditions apply).

In case of customer collections, the Shell site minimum requirements apply. For collection by barge or tanker special safety/vetting standards and requirements apply.

Minimum order size

Deliveries by road should involve fully loaded trucks of minimum 22 tonnes made up of one product. If you collect the product from our site the minimum order size is 18 tonnes.

Payment

Shell’s standard payment method is Direct Debit 30 days from invoice.

Delivery documentation

The following documents are provided with each delivery:

  • Bill of Lading, CMR Waybill or other relevant transport document
  • Certificate of Analysis or Conformity (if required)
  • HSSE-related documentation in line with regulations
  • Customs documentation in line with regulations (if required)

Please also see:

“Product descriptions are for information purposes only. Products sold by Shell Chemicals companies shall comply with specifications included in the relevant sales contract. Shell Chemicals make no other warranty or representation of any kind concerning the products sold, whether of their merchantability and fitness for any particular purpose or otherwise, and none shall be implied.”

More in Chemicals product portfolio

Ethyl PROXITOL

Shell Chemicals is a leading supplier of Ethyl PROXITOL (EP/PE) - part of our range of high purity Propylene Oxide Glycol Ethers (POGEs).

Ethyl PROXITOL Acetate

Ethyl PROXITOL Acetate (EPA) is part of the Shell Chemicals range of Propylene Oxide Glycol Ethers (POGEs) and their Esters.