Introduction :Ethylene Glycol (1, 2 – ethanediol), HOCH2CH2OH usually called glycol is the simplest Diol. Diethylene glycol and Triethylene glycol are Oligomers of Mono ethylene glycol.
Ethylene glycol was first prepared by Wurtz in 1859; treatment of 1,2 dibromoethane with silver acetate yielding ethylene glycol diacetate via saponification with potassium hydroxide and in 1860 from the hydration of ethylene oxide.
There to have been no commercial manufacture or application of ethylene glycol prior to World War-I when it was synthesized from ethylene dichloride .
In Germany and used as substituted for glycerol in the explosives industry and was first used industrially in place of glycerol during World War I as an intermediate for explosives (ethylene glycol dinitrate) but has since developed into a major industrial product.
The use of ethylene glycol as an antifreeze for water in automobile cooling systems was patented in the United States in 1917, but this commercial application did not start until the late 1920s.
The first inhibited glycol antifreeze was put on the market in 1930 by National Carbon Co. (Now Union Carbide Corp.) under the brand name “prestone”.
Carbide continued to be essentially the sole supplier until the late 1930s. In 1940 DuPont started up an ethylene glycol plant in Belle, West Virginia based on its new formaldehyde methanol process.
In 1937 Carbide started up the first plant based on Lefort’s process for vapor phase oxidation of ethylene oxide.
The worldwide capacity for production of Ethylene Glycol via hydrolysis of ethylene oxide is estimated to be 7×106 ton/annum [1, 2].
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