These are formed by reaction using batch processes. Ethylene oxide is mixed with mono-ethylene glycol, diethylene glycol or liquid polyglycols, using basic catalysis (Potash 50%). The product is then neutralised with phosphoric acid and by eliminating salts in the filter.
These are not chemically homogeneous components. They are homologous agents that are very similar one to another.
- Liquid PEGs are clear, transparent, viscous and slightly hygroscopic.
- Solid PEGs are of a white colour and look like wax. They are produced in scales.
- Cosmetics: very much used for their neutral composition, their water solubility, their non-greasy properties and skin tolerance qualities.
- Ceramics: used as plastifying agents.
- Rubber: used as lubricating agents.
- Pharmaceutical products: used as excipients, bases for creams, suppositories and pills.
- Other uses: used as dispersing agents for detergents. Used also for lubricants.