What is "Glycol ether" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 17-Feb-2023 (1 year, 3 months, 25 days ago)
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Glycol ether

Glycol Ether is a class of solvents widely used in the textile industry for various applications, including dyeing, printing, and cleaning. It is known for its excellent solvency, low volatility, and compatibility with a wide range of materials. This article provides a detailed exploration of Glycol Ether, including its history, types, handling tips, and top international users or manufacturers.

History and Origin

The origins of Glycol Ether can be traced back to the early 20th century when chemists started exploring the potential of various chemicals as solvents. The development of Glycol Ether as a group of solvents can be attributed to advancements in the field of organic chemistry. The chemical structure of Glycol Ether consists of an alkyl chain attached to a glycol group, giving it its unique solvency and other properties.

Types of Glycol Ether

Glycol Ether encompasses several individual compounds, each with distinct properties and applications. Some common types of Glycol Ether used in the textile industry include:

  1. Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether (EGBE): EGBE is a versatile solvent widely used in textile dyeing and printing processes. It provides excellent solubility for a variety of dyes and pigments and is compatible with various textile fibers.
  2. Ethylene Glycol Monoethyl Ether (EGME): EGME is commonly used as a coupling agent in textile dyeing and printing. It improves the dispersibility of dyes and pigments, facilitating uniform coloration and enhancing colorfastness.
  3. Dipropylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether (DPGME): DPGME is a solvent employed in textile cleaning applications. It effectively removes stains and residues without damaging or discoloring the fabric.
  4. Propylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether (PGME): PGME is a solvent with good solvency for various textile dyes and inks. It is widely used in printing processes, enabling precise and vibrant color reproduction.

Tips for Handling Glycol Ether

When working with Glycol Ether in textile applications, it is important to follow proper handling procedures to ensure safety and achieve optimal results. Here are some tips:

  1. Use Adequate Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation in the working area to minimize exposure to vapors and maintain a safe working environment.
  2. Wear Protective Gear: Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as gloves, goggles, and a respirator, to protect against skin contact, eye irritation, and inhalation of fumes.
  3. Store Properly: Store Glycol Ether in tightly sealed containers away from sources of ignition, heat, and direct sunlight. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for storage conditions.
  4. Follow Safety Guidelines: Adhere to safety guidelines provided by regulatory authorities and the manufacturer, including safe handling, disposal, and emergency procedures.

Top International Users and Manufacturers

Several international companies are prominent users and manufacturers of Glycol Ether for textile applications. Here are a few examples:

  1. Dow Chemical Company: Dow Chemical is a global leader in chemical manufacturing, producing a range of Glycol Ether solvents used in various industries, including textiles.
  2. Eastman Chemical Company: Eastman Chemical manufactures Glycol Ether solvents widely used in textile applications, offering a broad range of solvency options and tailored solutions.
  3. Shell Chemicals: Shell Chemicals produces Glycol Ether solvents for diverse industrial applications, including textiles, providing high-quality solvents for efficient and reliable performance.
  4. BASF SE: BASF is a leading chemical company that offers a comprehensive portfolio of Glycol Ether solvents, meeting the demanding requirements of the textile industry.


Glycol Ether plays a crucial role in the textile industry, serving as a reliable solvent for various processes, including dyeing, printing, and cleaning. Its excellent solvency, low volatility, and compatibility with different materials make it a popular choice among textile professionals. By understanding the different types of Glycol Ether, following proper handling tips, and considering the top international users and manufacturers, textile industry practitioners can leverage this versatile solvent to achieve optimal results in their operations.

Glycol ether
A class of chemicals including many variants used as water soluble solvents in a variety of cleaning products, latex paint, water-borne wood finishes and other applications. Members of this class include: butoxy ethanol, butyl cellosolve, butyl diglycol, butyl carbinol, and Diethylene glycol monomethyl ether (AKA "DM")

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