New Uses for Propylene Glycol: Antifreeze that’s Eco-friendly and Safe

ethylene glycol vs proplyene glycol

ethylene glycol vs proplyene glycol
Ethylene Glycol by Ben Mills

Researchers at ACTA Technology Inc. have created an eco-friendly and safe alternative for the primary ingredient in antifreeze by using a substance called propylene glycol.

Propylene glycol is a syrupy liquid commonly used as a food additive to absorb excessive moisture and stabilize mixtures. Unlike the antifreeze ingredient used today, ethylene glycol, propylene glycol is nontoxic and safe to consume.

Due to antifreeze’s sweet smell and taste, thousands of pets and children fall victim to accidental ingestion each year; many resulting in death. The new research findings combat this with a much safer alternative that is also much more efficient than the antifreeze used today. The higher efficiency output achieved by using the alternative propylene glycol for cooling purposes instead of ethylene glycol results in a safer environmental solution as well.

The primary ingredient in antifreeze, ethylene glycol, is a useful industrial compound commonly found in a number of consumer products ranging from brake fluids, solvents, paints, plastics, all the way to cosmetics and is even used as a pharmaceutical vehicle. Used the wrong way, ethylene glycol can be extremely hazardous. Unfortunately, it is also to blame for the thousands of accidental poisonings and deaths that occur each year in the US from ingesting the substance. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that about 90,000 animals and 6,000 people are poisoned every year by mistaking antifreeze for something else and drinking it.

The ACTA research team are highly encouraged by what they have succeeded in with this new alternative. Leading the team of researchers, Chief Technology Officer, Clancy, also pointed out that ACTA’s new patented propylene glycol/water mixture also increases heat transfer in flow systems, which are used in automobile radiators. Because the new mixture increases efficiency of heat transfer, this means that vehicle manufacturers could design smaller systems, leading to lighter cars, which in turn results in lower carbon emission output for a lighter carbon footprint.

To read more about this fascinating discovery, see the full piece published in the American Chemical Society