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Applications of Polyethylene Glycols

About Polyethylene Glycols

Polyethylene glycol is a polymer of ethylene oxide produced by the interaction of ethylene oxide with water. It is a kind of liquid or a low-melting solid obtained by the polymerization of ethylene oxide. Polyethylene glycols are used in wide range of applications including commercial, medical, biological as well as industrial applications. These are available in a wide range of molecular weights. Depending on their molecular weight, glycols of different molecular weights are employed in various applications. The glycols are water soluble products which have a wide range of applications in form of surfactants, ethoxylate surfactants and cleaning agents. These are applicable in applications related to food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, medicine etc.

Applications of Polyethylene Glycol

The high quality polyethylene glycols are utilized in the form of dispersing agents, solvents, ointments, in suppository bases, and as laxatives in medical, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industries. They can prevent foaming and therefore used in preparations where foaming is not required in food industry. The low molecular weight polyethylene glycols are preferred products for formation of ink solvents and lubricants for printing. These are also important for cosmetics and preferred in preparation of skin creams, lubricants and ointment bases because of their friendliness to the skin. Polyethylene glycols do not cause any irritation to the skin and can even be removed easily by water because of their excellent water solubility.

Polyethylene glycols for pharmaceutical formulations are important ingredients for preparation of topical, oral, ophthalmic and rectal preparations. They are used as film coating agents and lubricants in several medical applications. Especially the solid grade polyethylene glycols are preferred as plasticizers. They can prevent rupture or damage of the coating film and therefore used in the tablet forming process.

In toothpastes, the polyethylene glycols work as water binding agents that keep xanthum gum distributed uniformly in the toothpaste. The thickness of these glycols makes them important ingredients for use in paintball fills.

Depending on chemical properties of these glycols, they have several other chemical uses too. Because of their water solubility, they are used in applying osmotic pressure in biochemistry and biomembrane experiments. It’s the characteristic fragmentation pattern of these glycols for which they are preferred materials for mass spectrometry experiments. They help in preventing warping or shrinking of the wood and therefore used to preserve objects like wood that are affected by the underwater.

Rimpro-India is a leading manufacturer of surfactants and oilfield chemicals in India offering high quality polyethylene glycols for pharmaceutical formulations.


Therefore the polyethylene glycols are valuable substances for applications in number of industries including pharmaceutical, medical, cosmetics, food etc.

This article educates reader about polyethylene glycols and its applications in various industries.

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