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What is Diethylene glycol (DEG)

Diethylene glycol (DEG) is an organic compound used widely as a reactive solvent and in the manufacturing of plastics and other products. The preparation of DEG entails the partial hydrolysis of ethylene oxide, which produces varying amount of DEG and other glycols. DEG is also an extremely toxic material — the United States allows only a small amount of the compound when used as a food additive.

Brenntag North America is a leading diethylene glycol distributor in the United States. We can provide the right quantity of high-grade DEG for your manufacturing operation along with fast and efficient shipping to your facility.

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Diethylene Glycol uses and applications

A primary application of DEG is as a reactive diol in the production of plasticizers, polyurethanes and polyester resins — as well as a solvent in oils, dyes, resins, and other organic compounds. It also acts as a humectant (a substance which helps to maintain moisture) in products such as glue, ink, and cork. Polyethylene glycol, a DEG derivative, can also be used as a food additive — but only if the DEG content does not exceed 0.2%.

Another popular diethylene glycol use is as an additive in personal care products such as skin lotions, creams, and deodorants. It also serves as a component in lubricants, brake fluid, wallpaper strippers, and heating and cooking fuel. Additionally, DEG is used as a surface-active agent in the production of functional fluids in closed systems and as an additive in paints and coatings.


Ingestion of large amounts of diethylene glycol can lead to severe health issues such as kidney and liver degeneration and even death. The most serious symptoms typically begin to occur approximately 5-10 days after ingestion.


DEG is a colorless, sweet-tasting liquid with a molecular weight of 106.121 g/mol and an exact mass of 106.063 g/mol. The density of diethylene glycol is 1.118 g/mLm, while its melting point is −10.45° C (13.19° F). The boiling point of DEG is 244 to 245° C (471 to 473° F). The chemical formula of DEG is C4H10O3.


If you’re looking to buy diethylene glycol in the United States, Brenntag, N.A. is your best source by far. With an inventory consisting of more than 10,000 chemicals and ingredients, we meet the needs of more than 180,000 customers. We’re also known for our prompt and attentive service and willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve our goal of total customer satisfaction.

Contact us to learn more about our DEG products and services today.

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