Ethylene Glycol (Laboratory Use)

24th October 2018



An image showing Ethylene Glycol (Laboratory Use) in a 2.5litre container

Why Buy Ethylene Glycol (Laboratory Use) Online from UK Chemical Suppliers, ReAgent Chemicals?

We supply ethylene glycol for laboratory use in 2.5L and 25L containers, with discounts available for bulk orders. This product is sold with a weight/ml between 1.111 and 1.115g, as well as minimum levels of water (0.2%) and acetic (0.003%). More information can be found in the compounds’ Sale Product Specification, available to download from our website.

Methods of production

This syrupy sweet-tasting organic compound is mainly synthesised from ethylene, forming intermediate ethylene oxide which, in the presence of water, is converted to ethylene glycol. This reaction occurs naturally at high temperatures, but can be accelerated with acid or base catalysts. Best yields –over 90% – can be obtained with excess water and an acidic or neutral pH, thus limiting producton of by-products, which may include diethylene glycol, triethylene glycol and tetraethylene glycol.

A second method to produce ethylene glycol involves conversion to ethylene carbonate, in the presence of CO2, which then reacts with water to generate mono-ethylene glycol exclusively. CO2 is regenerated in the second reaction and used again in a loop system.

Ethylene glycol’s toxicity

This can be an extremely dangerous chemical, mostly due to its sweet taste. For this reason, there have been many cases of intoxication, particularly in children and pets. After ingestion, this compound is converted to glycolic acid and then oxalic acid. In fact, it’s not ethylene glycol per se that is toxic, but its by-products, which can severely affect the nervous system, heart and kidneys. If left untreated, it can be fatal. To avoid such cases, many countries add bitter-tasting denatonium to any household products containing ethylene glycol, or whenever possible, replace it with safer propylene glycol.

Open an account

If you’d like to open an account with us, contact our sales team, and a member of staff will be glad to help you. We offer a wide range of products, from pharmaceutical chemicals to bespoke solutions to suit your needs. Simply contact us for further information of free technical advice.


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