Ethylene oxide (EO) is a useful intermediate in chemical manufacture, despite being a deadly product with about half the explosive content of TNT. It is also a suspected carcinogen. EO is primarily used in the production of ethylene glycol, which is in turn utilised mainly in the making of polyesters and antifreeze. Globally, some 63% of EO is converted to mono ethylene glycol (MEG), with a further 7% going into other glycols.

Other EO derivatives include glycol ethersethanolamines, ethoxylates, polyols for polyurethane systems, polyethylene glycols and polyalkylene glycols.

EO is a colourless gas at ambient temperatures which condenses when cooled to a colourless mobile liquid boiling at 10.4ºC. The vapours are extremely flammable and toxic if inhaled.

ICIS pricing quotes ethylene oxide in Europe and the USA.  

To find out more Ethylene Oxide Methodology January 2013

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