Diethylene glycol (DEG) is an organic compound withthe formula (HOCH2CH2)2O. It is a colorless,practically odorless, poisonous, and hygroscopic liquid with a sweetish taste.It is miscible in water, alcohol, ether, acetone and ethylene glycol. DEGis a widely used solvent. Its use in adulterated consumer products has resulted in numerous epidemics of poisoning since the early 20th century.
Diethylene glycol is used in the manufacture of unsaturated polyester resins, polyurethanes and plasticizers. DEG is used as a building block in organic synthesis, e.g. of morpholine and 1,4-dioxane. It is a solvent for nitrocellulose, resins, dyes,oils, and other organic compounds. It is a humectant for , cork, printing ink,and glue. It is also a component in brake fluid, lubricants, wallpaper strippers, artificial fog solutions, and heating/cooking fuel. In personal care products (e.g. skin cream and lotions, deodorants) DEG is often replaced byselected diethylene glycol ethers. A dilute solution of diethylene glycol canalso be used as a coolant; however, ethylene glycol is much more commonly used. Most ethylene glycol antifreeze contains a few percent diethylene glycol,present as an inadvertent byproduct of ethylene glycol production.