Recovery of Glycols from Aqueous Solutions




Glycols, in particular ethylene glycol, are used as antifreeze in automobiles, are a main constituent of plastics such asf poly(ethylene terephthalate) or PET, polyesters, and polyurethanes.  The combined utility of glycols represents a multibillion dollar market.  These compounds are typically formed in multistep processes in dilute aqueous solutions, from which they must be separated and purified before being used or sold.  Typical distillation and separation techniques are costly, time intensive, and require high equipment cost.  Efficient and economic al production and purification methods are needed. 


Description of Technology


This technology is an economic process for the separation and purification of glycols from water.  The technology utilizes acetalization and reactive distillation.  The technology is a simple process that can be used to purify any glycol from water.


Key Benefits

  • High purity separation of glycols
  • Simple production process
  • Continuous production



  • Antifreeze production
  • PET plastics
  • Polyurethane
  • Unsaturated polyester resins


Patent Status


US patent 6,713,640 B2, 6,713,640, and Canada 2,451,763




Shubham Chopade, Atulkumar Dhale, Christopher Kiesling, Angela Clark, James Jackson, Dennis Miller


Tech ID




Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Thomas Herlache
Assistant Director
Michigan State University