Butyl glycol isomers

Is 2-butoxyethanol and 1,3 butylene glycol the same compound? When 2-butoxyethanol is produced, are a range of isomers produced, e.g. 1,4 butanediol, or do the isomers have to be produced via different pathways?

Comments

  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    These are two different chemicals, one is also known as ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (the correct chemical name would be 2-butoxyethan-1-ol but because it's isomer 2-butoxyethan-2-ol isn't stable, nobody uses the "-1-") and the other ones correct name is 1,3-botanediol (it's by definition not a glycol).
    The former is produced by treating butanol with ethylene oxide, a straight forward synthesis without isomer formation. The latter may be produced by different synthetic routes which may or may not result in by-product/isomer formation.
    BTW "pathway" is a term preferably used in biology/biosynthesis, not chemical synthesis i.e. metabolic pathways which most often don't result in mixtures of structural isomers ;) .
  • Cheeky fact for me there haha. Which one is preferable for use in skincare?
  • You can probably tell which one is the best by reading a suppliers list, one of those will come up all the time.
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Uppps, I just realised that I wrote 1,3-botanediol instead of 1,3-butanediol ;( .
    I wouldn't use either of the two.
    1,3-butanediol might work as nutrient supplement and sure, it does what similar compounds do but I'd rather go with one which also boosts preservation such as 1,2-penatanediol or similar real glycols.
    2-Butoxyethanol is not the most safe substance, has detergent properties but mostly serves as solvent or co-solvent and isn't used for any skin care effects.
  • Very useful clarification. I agree on use of a glycol to boost preservation. I think I will go for pentanediol or hexyl glycol.  
  • Propane diol 1,3 is popular 
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
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