Glymes and Dioxolane > versatile high-performance solvents

Glycol diethers, also known as glymes, are chemicals with a very diverse range of uses, not least thanks to their solvent properties.

Glymes offer stability and are useful for many different reactions. At the same time, there are very different boiling points and solubilities within the substance group, depending on your requirements.

BTC Europe is offering a series of high-performance solvents, including glymes.


Glymes, Dioxolane

Properties of glycol diethers

Glycol diethers, or glymes, are aprotic, saturated polyethers that offer high solvency, high stability in strong bases and moderate stability in acid solutions.

  • Glymes efficiently solvate cations, increasing anion reactivity, and thus can increase both selectivity and reaction rates.
  • Most glymes are water-soluble, but a range of solubility and boiling points are available.
  • The polyether structure produces only weak associations between glyme molecules, and is responsible for the low viscosity and excellent wetting properties of these solvents.
  • A further structural feature of glymes that contributes significantly to their usefulness involves the arrangement of oxygen atoms, as ether linkages, at two-carbon intervals.
  • The model of the diglyme molecule illustrates this periodic recurrence of oxygen atoms separated by two carbon atoms. This steric arrangement, analogous to that of crown ethers, gives glymes the ability to form complexes with many cations.

1,3-Dioxolane is an excellent solvent for polar polymers.

Applications of glycol diethers and Dioxolane

Glycol diethers have a wide range of solubilities and boiling points. They are used as reaction solvents and in closed loop applications such as gas scrubbing and in refrigeration systems.

  • The higher molecular weight glymes beginning with ethyl diglyme are suitable for emissive applications such as coatings, inks, adhesives and in cleaning compounds.
  • The Pharmaglyme types are intended for pharma applications.

The lower molecular weight glymes should not be used in emissive applications due to their reproductive toxicity.

1,3-Dioxolane is used to produce coatings, films, in paint stripping formulations, for photoresist removal and as a general clean-up solvent for epoxy and urethane.


See also our Expertise Plus Newsletter article Versatile high-performance solvents in the BTC portfolio.