The Propylene Oxide & Glycols Sector Group (PO & Glycols)
Uses and properties
Propylene oxide is used as a monomer in polymer production and as an intermediate in the synthesis of other substances. It is also used as a chemical intermediate for the manufacture of:
- Polyols used in polyurethane foam manufacture for the furniture and automotive industries, and coatings, adhesives and sealants
- Propylene glycol ethers for use as solvents in paints, inks, coatings, resins, cleaners and waxes
- Butanediol and related products for speciality resins and solvents.
- Propylene glycols, which can be used in:
- the production of unsaturated polyester resins, especially in the construction, transportation, automotive and marine industries
- as a solvent in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics
- in engine coolants and aircraft de-icers
Issues and regulations
A “Propylene Oxide & Glycols” was formed through which manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 consistent registration dossiers covering propylene oxide and glycols.
Consortium Management: ReachCentrum.
The Sector Group is pro-actively managing regulatory and environmental responsibilities on the industry:
- Health: SCOEL / Occupational Exposure Limits, Classification issues
- Environment: CO2 emissions (benchmarks), Industrial Emissions Directive (BREF)
- Exchange non-confidential safety information about the production, distribution and handling of propylene oxide.
- Promoting the standing of the propylene oxide and propylene glycols industry in a socially responsible manner.
- Informing consumers and those involved in the handling of the products on its properties and functionality.
- Encouraging the safe and proper use of propylene oxide and propylene glycols by developing and publishing appropriate technical information.
- Maintaining a high level of technical understanding by identifying and managing research into health and environmental effects and assessing risks in use.
- Organising and funding toxicology research projects, in collaboration with other Industry associations where appropriate.
- Presenting a positive image of propylene oxide and propylene glycols to the industry, authorities and the public.
- Developing a common position on major issues of the industry for presentation to regulators, opinion leaders and other concerned bodies.
- Developing product stewardship programmes following the Responsible Care principles.
Chairman: Vincent Lacoste, Dow Europe
- Guidelines for the Distribution of Propylene Oxide, Revision 3 (January 2013) EN, FR, ES, IT, DE
- Guidelines for the Handling and Distribution Propylene Glycol USP/EP (pharmaceutical grade monopropylene glycol) revision 2.2, May 2013 (USP/EP) available in
- Environment friendly couplings for Propylene Oxide Transportation Equipment. Download.
- Website dedicated to production, main uses and health and safety aspects of propylene glycol.