Dipropylene Glycol

Dipropylene glycol is a liquid that is nearly odorless and completely colorless.  Its boiling point is high while its toxicity level is low.  Dipropylene glycol is a combination of three isomeric chemical compounds; isomers are different combinations of chemical structures of the same molecular formula. Dipropylene glycol (DPG) is available in two different forms: fragrance grade and industrial grade. In its fragrance grade form, the odor is nearly untraceable; industrial grade DPG is practically identical in its chemical properties with less concern placed on odor.  Both can be found at an industrial chemical supplier.


        Dipropylene glycol is often used as an intermediate in chemical reactions for industrial purposes, when purchased from an industrial chemical supplier.  DPG has a variety of uses, including as a:


  • Monomer to bind with other molecules, forming a larger molecule called a polymer, or macromolecule.  Polymers are found in various standard structures, from the plastic known as polystyrene to the DNA found in our bodies.

  • Polymerization initiator, which induces monomers to form a three-dimensional network with unpaired valence electrons. The unpaired valence electrons seek to bond with other electrons to form longer chains.

  • Dispersant, or plasticizer, to enhance the fluidity (plasticity) of a material.  The most widely recognized application of DPG is polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

  • Humectant to attract and retain moisture.

  • Solvent, or a substance that forms a solution when a solute dissolves within it.


Along with low toxicity, the last two uses, as a humectant and solvent, give dipropylene glycol the ideal chemical makeup to be used in the cosmetology industry.  Many skin and hair-care products, perfumes and lotions contain dipropylene glycol because of these properties as well as its low potential for skin irritation.


A completely unrelated but extremely interesting use of dipropylene glycol is as an ingredient in commercial fog fluid, the hazy smoke that stage performers use in rock bands and magic acts. From the makeup the band applies, to the plastic microphone the performers use, and the smoke emanating from the stage, DPG rocks!


Learn more about the properties and uses of dipropylene glycol with Bell Chem, a leading industrial chemical supplier.  Call us today at (407) 339-BELL.