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  1. 1. ETHYLENE GLYCOL BUTYL ETHER (EGBE) EGBE is a key ingredient in hundreds of products ranging from industrial and consumer EGBE is produced by reacting ethylene oxide cleaning solutions to water- and solvent-based and normal butanol (n-butanol) using a paints and coatings. EGBE’s popularity stems catalyst. If the ratio of ethylene oxide to n- from several special performance butanol is greater than one, di- and tri-ethylene characteristics that also provide economic glycol monoethers are produced along with the value. EGBE. EGBE is an organic solvent with the formula C6H14O2. It is a colorless liquid, ether-like odour. It is a butyl ether of ethylene glycol. It is a type of glycol ether and remains the single most widely produced glycol ether. It is primarily used as a solvent. It evaporates quickly and is completely soluble in water. EGBE is sold commercially under a variety of names. EGBE is also referred to by its chemical names: • 2-Butoxy-1-ethanol • Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether • 2-Butoxyethanol EGBE is used in coatings and cleaner • Ethylene glycol butyl ether (EGBE) applications, including many in consumer • Butyl CELLOSOLVE markets. It is used for: • Butyl glycol ether (BGE)  Active solvent for solvent-based coatings  Coalescent for industrial water-based coatings  Coupling agent for architectural water- borne coatings EGBE Line Structure  Coupling agent and solvent in household and industrial cleaners, rust removers, hard surface cleaners and disinfectants  Primary solvent in solvent-based silk screen printing inks  Coupling agent for resins and dyes in water-based printing inks EGBE Space-filling Model  Solvent for agricultural pesticides CHEMICAL NAME Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether EGBE has been used for more than half a CAS NUMBER 111-76-2 century. Today it is used extensively in both MOLECULAR FORMULA C6H14O2 water- and solvent-based coatings and APPEARANCE Colorless, liquid industrial and consumer cleaners. Cleaners BOILING POINT 171°C(340°F) at 760 mmHg made with EGBE can remove oils, fats, waxes, STRUCTURE C4H9-O-CH2-CH2-OH greases and baked-on or ground-in residues SOLUBILITY Miscible in both water and from floors, walls, glass, metal parts, and organic solvents equipment. Paints and coatings that use EGBE range from lacquers, varnishes and enamels to water-based coatings and inks. Compiled by Deniz Kaya -1-
  2. 2. When added to cleaners, EGBE helps lift soil accordance with product safety information and keeps it suspended until it can be rinsed or and good hygiene practices. EGBE studies wiped away. Because EGBE’s chemical also show it is unlikely to cause adverse structure includes an ether and an alcohol, it environmental impacts because it is not can attack water-insoluble oils and greases persistent, does not bioaccumulate, and has and water-soluble stains. EGBE thus offers low toxicity to aquatic organisms. manufacturers a variety of cleaning capabilities, from heavy-duty industrial jobs to Research continues so that industry, milder janitorial and household uses. government and academic scientists can increase our knowledge about EGBE. Because EGBE is compatible with both petroleum solvents and water, it is found in a As with all chemicals, EGBE should be used wide-range of coatings – from automotive and with care and in accordance with governmental packaging coatings to wood furniture finishes. regulations. EGBE and products containing It is used widely in water-based industrial EGBE are not intended to be ingested. paints and coatings. Airborne concentrations of EGBE should be maintained below permissible exposure limits. In household products, EGBE uses include Consistent with governmental standards, skin glass and tile cleaners, waxes, rust removers contact with EGBE before it is diluted in and metal polishes. The same properties that commercial formulations should be avoided. allow EGBE to dissolve and hold soils and stains in suspension make the compound an effective ingredient in water-based protective paints and coatings. EGBE also acts to dissolve or suspend pigments and resins until the coating is applied to surfaces. Once the coating is applied, EGBE is designed to evaporate, leaving a uniform, dry finish. Although some glycol ethers have been shown to cause adverse reproductive effects and birth defects in laboratory animals, EGBE does not show the same pattern of toxicity as these other glycol ethers. Human experience and animal studies have shown that EGBE is unlikely to cause adverse health effects when products are used as directed. Still, when used improperly, EGBE can cause eye, respiratory tract and skin irritation and even burns. EGBE is unlikely to cause adverse environmental impact because it is not persistent, does not bioaccumulate (build up in the food chain), is readily biodegradable and has low toxicity to aquatic organisms. It moves to water when it is released because of its high miscibility, low volatility and minimal tendency to bind to soil or sediment. It degrades rapidly in water. EGBE is one of the most versatile chemicals in the marketplace today for a wide variety of uses. Human experience and animal studies have shown that it is unlikely to cause adverse health effects when used as directed and in Compiled by Deniz Kaya -2-