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Antifreeze is a chemical compound added to water to lower its natural freezing point. The term can pertain both to the additive itself or the resulting mixture. It prevents rigid enclosures from undergoing catastrophic deformation during colder season, since water turns into ice. It also acts as a colligative agent, since it can also elevate the boiling point of a substance.
Careful selection of an antifreeze compound for boilers is crucial since it is important to maintain the treated mixture in its liquid state for efficient heat transfer. Antifreeze is also used in internal combustion engines and other heat transfer applications, like HVAC chillers and solar water heaters.
There are various chemicals which are used as antifreeze. But inhibited propylene glycol has gained a following in recent years because of its effectiveness to deliver desired results without causing environmental risks. Propylene glycol is an organic alcohol made through the reaction of propylene oxide with water. It is a clear, thick, and odorless liquid with a sweet taste. Because of its unique properties and its low toxicity, it has been a ubiquitous component of various consumer products for the past five decades.
* IUPAC name: propane-1,2-diol
* Synonyms: methylethylene glycol; 1,2-dihydroxypropane
* Formula: C3H8O2
* Molar mass: 76.09 g/mol
* Density: 1.04 g/cm3 (20°C)
* Melting point: -59°C
* Boiling point: 187.6°C
* Vapor pressure: 0.2 mmHg (23°C)
* Vapor density: 2.62 (air=1)
* Saturation concentration: approximately 90-260 ppm (20°C)
* Viscosity: 91.41 cp (10.45°C)
* Surface tension: 40.1 g/s2 (25°C)
* Refractive index: 1.4324 (20°C)
* Partition coefficient: -0.92 pKow
* Heat of vaporization: 66.27 kJ/mol
* Heat of combustion: -1828kJ/mol
Because propylene glycol is does not react with other substances, it is used favorably in lots of applications. In its pharmaceutical grade, it is widely used as a carrier of flavor and color for food and beverage like biscuits, cakes, and sodas. It is also used as a thickener, clarifier, and stabilizer for beers, salad dressings, and baking mixtures.
Propylene glycol is approved by the Food and Drug Agency (FDA) as a drug solvent for oral, topical, and injectable formulations. Its chemical neutrality makes it a suitable carrier for active ingredients in vaccines, local anesthetics, vitamins, and syrups. It ensures that active ingredients in a formulation are well-distributed and contain the exact prescribed amount.
The organic chemical forms the backbone of many industrial applications. It protects boilers and other metal surfaces against corrosion and pressure burst, while its low toxicity makes it a safe heat transfer medium. Propylene glycol is used as an aircraft deicer and airway cleaner to enable safe aviation. It is also a building block in plastic formation like unsaturated polyester resins, which is used for furniture, heavy impact installations, or windmill blades.
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