Dipropylene Glycol vs. Propylene Glycol

What's the Difference?

Dipropylene Glycol (DPG) and Propylene Glycol (PG) are both types of glycols commonly used in various industries. While they share some similarities, they also have distinct differences. Both DPG and PG are clear, odorless liquids with low volatility and high boiling points, making them suitable for applications requiring stability and low evaporation rates. However, DPG has a higher molecular weight and viscosity compared to PG, making it more suitable for applications that require a thicker consistency, such as in cosmetics and personal care products. On the other hand, PG is often used as a solvent and humectant in food, pharmaceuticals, and e-liquids due to its lower viscosity and better solubility. Overall, the choice between DPG and PG depends on the specific requirements of the application at hand.


AttributeDipropylene GlycolPropylene Glycol
Chemical FormulaC6H14O3C3H8O2
Boiling Point232°C188.2°C
Molecular Weight134.17 g/mol76.09 g/mol
AppearanceColorless liquidColorless liquid
OdorOdorlessSlight sweet odor
SolubilityMiscible in waterMiscible in water
UsesUsed as a solvent, humectant, and in personal care productsUsed as a solvent, antifreeze, and in various industries

Further Detail


Dipropylene glycol (DPG) and propylene glycol (PG) are both chemical compounds commonly used in various industries. While they share some similarities, they also have distinct attributes that make them suitable for different applications. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of DPG and PG, their uses, and their potential benefits and drawbacks.

Chemical Structure

Both DPG and PG belong to the glycol family, which are alcohols with two hydroxyl groups. However, their chemical structures differ slightly. DPG, also known as 1,1'-Oxybis(2-propanol), has two propylene glycol units connected by an oxygen atom. On the other hand, PG, also called 1,2-propanediol, consists of a single propylene glycol unit. This structural variation impacts their physical properties and applications.

Physical Properties

DPG and PG exhibit different physical characteristics due to their structural differences. DPG is a clear, colorless liquid with a slightly sweet odor. It has a higher boiling point (over 230°C or 446°F) compared to PG, making it more suitable for applications requiring higher temperature stability. PG, on the other hand, is a clear, viscous liquid with a faintly sweet taste. It has a lower boiling point (around 188°C or 370°F) and a higher freezing point, making it useful in applications where low-temperature stability is required.


DPG and PG find applications in various industries, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, and automotive. DPG is commonly used as a solvent, humectant, and coupling agent in personal care products, such as lotions, creams, and perfumes. It is also utilized as a heat transfer fluid, plasticizer, and additive in industrial processes. PG, on the other hand, is widely used as a solvent, emulsifier, and preservative in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. It is also a key ingredient in food and beverage products, acting as a humectant, flavor carrier, and stabilizer. Additionally, PG is used in automotive antifreeze and deicing solutions.

Skin and Environmental Impact

When it comes to skin contact, both DPG and PG are generally considered safe for topical use. However, some individuals may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions, especially if they have pre-existing sensitivities. It is always recommended to perform a patch test before using products containing these compounds. In terms of environmental impact, both DPG and PG are biodegradable and have low toxicity levels. However, excessive release into water bodies can still have adverse effects on aquatic organisms, emphasizing the importance of responsible disposal and usage.

Benefits and Drawbacks

DPG offers several advantages in certain applications. Its higher boiling point makes it suitable for use in high-temperature processes, such as heat transfer systems. It also acts as an effective solvent and coupling agent, enhancing the performance of various formulations. However, DPG's higher cost compared to PG can be a drawback for some industries. On the other hand, PG's lower cost and versatility make it a popular choice in a wide range of applications. Its low freezing point and ability to retain moisture make it valuable in products requiring low-temperature stability and hydration. Nevertheless, PG's lower boiling point limits its use in high-temperature applications.


In conclusion, Dipropylene Glycol (DPG) and Propylene Glycol (PG) are two glycol compounds with distinct attributes and applications. While DPG offers higher temperature stability and enhanced performance as a solvent and coupling agent, PG's lower cost and versatility make it a popular choice in various industries. Both compounds have their benefits and drawbacks, and their selection depends on the specific requirements of each application. Understanding the differences between DPG and PG allows industries to make informed decisions when choosing the most suitable glycol compound for their needs.

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