Triethylene Glycol: Applications, Properties, and Future Prospects
Triethylene Glycol - TEG

In the realm of versatile petrochemicals, Triethylene Glycol (TEG), also known as Triethylene Glycol or Triglycol, stands tall as a widely used and valuable product. TEG's unique properties make it essential for various industrial applications, including dehydrating natural gas to prevent pipeline issues. Feel free to check out the Wikipedia for TEG in case you need a basic overview of this valuable chemical. However, the following article should provide you with everything you need to know about Triethylene Glycol. From its properties and applications to safety considerations, we provide the comprehensive information industrial professionals require. You'll find similar insights across all the articles on TEAMChem's website!

What is Triethylene Glycol?

Triethylene Glycol is a colorless, odorless, and viscous liquid belonging to the family of organic compounds known as glycols (which themselves are a type of alcohol). TEG's unique properties - such as moisture absorption - make it a highly sought-after product in various industries.

Triethylene Glycol Chemistry

Triethylene glycol’s molecular structure features three ethylene oxide groups (C6H12O3) linked together and terminated with hydroxyl groups (O2H2). This structure gives TEG several important chemical properties. Triethylene Glycol Chemistry is hygroscopic, meaning it readily absorbs moisture. It's also soluble in water and various other organic solvents. Additionally, this compound exhibits a high boiling point and low vapor pressure, making it relatively stable under various conditions.

Triethylene Glycol Chemical Formula

The chemical formula for TEG is C6H14O4. This formula breaks down to six carbon atoms (C6), fourteen hydrogen atoms (H14), and four oxygen atoms (O4) arranged in a specific structure. This structure imparts key properties like high boiling point, low volatility, and hygroscopic nature (ability to absorb water) to TEG.

Structural Formula

Triethylene Glycol or TEG has 6 carbon atoms in its structure, alongside 4 oxygen atoms and 14 hydrogen atoms. The structural formula of TEG is illustrated below:

Triethylene Glycol Chemical Formula

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Triethylene Glycol Viscosity

In layman’s terms, viscosity is a measure of a fluid's resistance to flow. Higher viscosity indicates thicker and more resistant to flow. Triethylene Glycol is highly viscose. Water, for reference, has a viscosity of 1cP at 20°C, while TEG's viscosity is significantly higher:

  • 20°C: ~5.3 cP 

  • 50°C: ~1.4 cP 

  • 100°C: ~0.6 cP 

This property is crucial in applications including heat transfer fluids, hydraulic fluids, gas dehydration, and plasticization.

Chemical Properties of Triethylene Glycol

Aside from its viscosity, Triethylene Glycol (TEG) possesses several other important chemical properties, such as its high boiling point and ability to readily absorb water (hygroscopicity). Here's a breakdown of TEG's other key chemical properties:

  • High boiling point: TEG boasts a boiling point of 285°C, making it suitable for high-temperature applications.

  • Low volatility: TEG exhibits minimal evaporation, reducing losses and emissions.

  • Hygroscopic: TEG readily absorbs water vapor, making it valuable for dehydration processes.

  • Miscible with water and many solvents: TEG's versatility is enhanced by its miscibility with various liquids.

  • Low freezing point: TEG offers freeze protection in certain applications.

  • Non-flammable: TEG possesses low flammability, enhancing safety in handling and storage.

Triethylene Glycol Uses

As noted before, triethylene glycol finds applications across various industries including oil & gas, textiles and pharmaceuticals. Here’s a list of some of the areas in which TEG's unique properties make it particularly useful:

  • Natural Gas Dehydration: Triethylene Glycol reigns supreme in this crucial process. Its hygroscopic nature efficiently removes water vapor from natural gas, preventing pipeline corrosion and ensuring safe, efficient transportation. Several factors contribute to its success:

  • Industrial Dehydration: TEG's ability to absorb moisture also make it useful in air conditioning, food and pharmaceutical processing (as a desiccant), and in various chemical processes.

  • Glycol-Based Heat Transfer Fluids: Triethylene glycol’s high boiling point and thermal stability allow for efficient heat transfer in demanding applications including solar energy systems, chemical plants and refineries, and heating systems where long-distance transport is required.

  • Plasticizer: TEG adds flexibility and durability to various products like bottles, films, adhesives, sealants, and coatings.  improves the softness and handle of textiles and fibers.

  • Beyond these core applications, TEG also finds use in:

  • Air sanitizers: Some air sanitizers utilize TEG's hygroscopic and mild antimicrobial properties.

  • Certain cosmetic products: Triethylene glycol may be present in some formulations due to its humectant properties.

  • Hydraulic fluids and brake fluids: TEG's viscosity and lubricity contribute to smooth operation and component protection.

  • Cleaning agents: TEG's solvency properties find use in some cleaning formulations.

  • Smoke machine fluids: Triethylene glycol is a component in some smoke machine fluids, creating theatrical effects safely.

Exploring the Future:

Beyond triethylene glycol’s current applications, it holds immense potential for future advancements. Research is exploring its application in:

  • Bio-based TEG: Research is underway to develop sustainable bio-based alternatives to traditional TEG, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and minimizing environmental impact.

  • Advanced dehydration technologies: New TEG-based dehydration technologies are being explored to improve efficiency, reduce energy consumption, and minimize environmental emissions.

  • CO2 capture and utilization: TEG's unique properties are being investigated for their potential role in capturing and utilizing carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change mitigation efforts.

  • Pharmaceutical and biomedical applications: Initial research suggests potential applications of TEG in drug delivery systems and other biomedical fields.

Advantages of Triethylene Glycol

TEG is a common and ideal chemical intermediate for the synthesis of other chemicals. Having lower vapor pressure and lower viscosity, TEG has great benefits compared to the other Glycols.

Disadvantages of Triethylene Glycol

It is recommended to be extremely careful when working with TEG. Please refer to TEAM MSDS for further details on TEG hazards.

Triethylene Glycol SDS

Generally, TEG is considered mildly toxic, meaning it's unlikely to cause harm with limited, accidental exposure. However, prolonged or repeated exposure can lead to irritation or more serious health concerns. Therefore It's absolutely crucial to consult the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the specific TEG product you're working with. The SDS will provide guidelines like wearing gloves, eye protection, and suitable clothing when handling triethylene glycol. For detailed safety information, you can access the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) provided by reliable suppliers like TEAMChem. 

Triethylene Glycol Price

The price of TEG can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Grade and purity: Higher purity grades command a premium.

  • Quantity: Bulk purchases typically offer lower prices per unit.

  • Market fluctuations: Global supply and demand can affect TEG pricing.

  • Supplier reputation and service: Reliable suppliers like TEAMChem ensure consistent quality and value.

While we cannot disclose specific pricing here, TEAMChem offers competitive rates for triethylene glycol, backed by transparent communication and exceptional service. To get a personalized quote, please contact our team directly.

TEG Markets in the World

The consumption of TEG is driven by the size of a countries industry and therefore countries such as China, India and Russia are some of the highest consuming countries of TEG in the world. Given that Russia is one of the biggest gas producers in the world, it is has now become one of the new consumers of Ethylene Glycols. New gas fields in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran also indicate that TEG consumption is high.
In addition to these companies, many regional and domestic manufacturers in the markets of countries such as China, India, South Korea and other countries are currently trying to gain a role in the sale market of Triethylene Glycol. Iran is also one of the producers of Triethylene Glycol which has succeeded in producing TEG 99% high purity. For supplying Triethylene Glycol Iran contact TEAM chemicals via get contact number and get a quote form, we remain available to provide more information.

Triethylene Glycol Packaging

Due to the fact that this compound is liquid at normal temperature, TEG chemical compound is supplied in 230 kg drums and/or in IBCs (intermediate bulk containers). Tanks and barrels for storage of this material are made of metal or polyethylene as corrosion resistance is required.

Why Choose TEAM Chemicals for Triethylene Glycol? - Supply Triethylene Glycol From TEAM

TEAM has been actively supplying Triethylene Glycol from Iran to numerous industries and has competitive pricing. Our TEG 99% has been supplied to Iraq and neighboring countries; references are available upon request. We have a standard quality control system in place and can arrange for international inspection with the help of inspection companies such as SGS.