What type of Dispersal/Evaporation agents should I use?

Hi everyone,
I have asked this question in a similar format in 'advanced' questions' but perhaps I posted it in the wrong category.

Apart from alcohol, which options are there for a low or non toxic aerial dispersal agent (hopefully not smelly either lol)? 
I have tried 50% isopropyl alcohol but the smell is quite overpowering.
Something that would make a liquid sprayed on to a hard surface disperse/evaporate into the air more quickly? 
Ideally, it would also work when sprayed onto a water surface.
Again, it should be as natural and low or non toxic/non irritating as possible.

Thanks in advance!


  • Can you be a little more specific please? 
  • johnbjohnb Member, Professional Chemist
    What is the objection to alcohol (ethanol)?
  • Hi Johnb,
    The trouble with alcohol (ethanol) is that it has a rather strong smell (and could easily have a nauseating effect if someone is exposed to my formulation for too long), hence my quest to find something that would do the same job without the smell. And masking the alcohol stench has so far not worked.

    Hi Chickenskin:
    I am working with SME ( Soyethyl Morpholinium Ethosulfate), which itself is an odor masking agent (not strong enough to mask the smell of alcohol though). The idea is to have the SME evaporate and disperse into the air around it at a much quicker rate than when it is sprayed directly onto surfaces.
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    Pure ethanol, as opposed to IPA, has very little to no odor. You might want to try it.

    Otherwise, you're out of luck. Anything more volatile than water is significantly more toxic than alcohol.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • Hi Bobzchemist,

    Thank you! Will try pure Ethanol.
  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    I'm not sure what the product you are working on is but I have made room spray formulas in the past with that odour masking active and water/ ethanol (<20%)/solubilisers/fragrance and they evaporate quickly in the air.

    Your dispersal system will also make a big difference to how the product will evaporate. Look for a misting type sprayer.
  • Thanks ozgirl!
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