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Record Information
Creation Date2014-09-11 05:16:11 UTC
Update Date2016-10-28 10:03:13 UTC
Accession NumberCHEM003735
Common NamePropylene glycol
ClassSmall Molecule
DescriptionPropylene glycol (1,2-propanediol) is an organic compound (a diol alcohol), usually a tasteless, odorless, and colorless clear oily liquid that is hygroscopic and miscible with water, acetone, and chloroform. It is manufactured by the hydration of propylene oxide. Propylene glycol is used as a solvent for intravenous, oral, and topical pharmaceutical preparations It is generally considered safe. However in large doses it can be toxic, especially if given over a short period of time. Intravenous lorazepam contains the largest amount of propylene glycol of commonly used drugs. In adults with normal liver and kidney function, the terminal half-life of propylene glycol ranges from 1.4 to 3.3 hours. Propylene glycol is metabolized by the liver to form lactate, acetate, and pyruvate. The nonmetabolized drug is excreted in the urine mainly as the glucuronide conjugate, approximately 12 to 45 percent is excreted unchanged in urine. Renal clearance decreases as the dose administered increases (390 ml/minute/173 m2 at a dose of 5 g/day but only 144 ml/minute/173 m2 at a dose of 21 g/day). These data suggest that renal clearance declines at higher propylene glycol doses because of saturation of proximal tubular secretion of the drug. As an acceptable level of propylene glycol has not been defined, the clinical implication of a propylene glycol level is unclear. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a maximum consumption of 25 mg/kg/day (1.8 g/day for a 75 kg male) of propylene glycol when used as a food additive, but this limit does not address its use as a drug solvent. No maximum dose is recommended in the literature for intravenous therapy with propylene glycol. Intoxication occurs at much higher doses than the WHO dose limit and is exclusive to pharmacologic exposure. Propylene glycol toxicity includes development of serum hyperosmolality, lactic acidosis, and kidney failure. It has been suggested that proximal tubular necrosis is the cause of acute kidney injury from propylene glycol. Along these lines, proximal tubular cell injury occurs in cultured human cells exposed to propylene glycol. Acute tubular necrosis was described with propylene glycol toxicity in a case of concomitant administration of intravenous lorazepam and trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole. Propylene glycol induced intoxication can also mimic sepsis or systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). Patients suspected of having sepsis with negative cultures should be evaluated for propylene glycol toxicity if they have been exposed to high dose lorazepam or other medications containing this solvent. (1)
Contaminant Sources
  • Cosmetic Chemicals
  • EAFUS Chemicals
  • FooDB Chemicals
  • HMDB Contaminants - Urine
  • HPV EPA Chemicals
  • IARC Carcinogens Group 3
  • OECD HPV Chemicals
  • STOFF IDENT Compounds
  • T3DB toxins
  • ToxCast & Tox21 Chemicals
Contaminant Type
  • Food Additive
  • Food Toxin
  • Household Toxin
  • Industrial/Workplace Toxin
  • Metabolite
  • Organic Compound
  • Solvent
  • Synthetic Compound
Chemical Structure
Isopropylene glycolChEBI
Methyl glycolChEBI
Methylethyl glycolChEBI
Methylethylene glycolChEBI
Monopropylene glycolChEBI
1,2-Propylene glycolHMDB
a-Propylene glycolHMDB
Aliphatic alcoholHMDB
alpha-Propylene glycolHMDB
Chilisa feHMDB
DL-Propylene glycolHMDB
Ilexan pHMDB
Inhibited 1,2-propylene glycolHMDB
Propylene glycol uspHMDB
Sentry propylene glycolHMDB
Solar winter banHMDB
Solargard pHMDB
Trimethyl glycolHMDB
Ucar 35HMDB
Monohydrate, propylene glycolHMDB
Propylene glycol, (R)-isomerHMDB
Propylene glycol, (S)-isomerHMDB
1,2 PropanediolHMDB
Glycol, propyleneHMDB
Propylene glycol, (+-)-isomerHMDB
Propylene glycol monohydrateHMDB
Propylene glycol sodium saltHMDB
Chemical FormulaC3H8O2
Average Molecular Mass76.094 g/mol
Monoisotopic Mass76.052 g/mol
CAS Registry Number57-55-6
IUPAC Namepropane-1,2-diol
Traditional Name1,2-propanediol
InChI IdentifierInChI=1S/C3H8O2/c1-3(5)2-4/h3-5H,2H2,1H3
Chemical Taxonomy
Description belongs to the class of organic compounds known as 1,2-diols. These are polyols containing an alcohol group at two adjacent positions.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassOrganic oxygen compounds
ClassOrganooxygen compounds
Sub ClassAlcohols and polyols
Direct Parent1,2-diols
Alternative Parents
  • Secondary alcohol
  • 1,2-diol
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Primary alcohol
  • Aliphatic acyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic acyclic compounds
External Descriptors
Biological Properties
StatusDetected and Not Quantified
Cellular Locations
  • Cytoplasm
  • Extracellular
Biofluid LocationsNot Available
Tissue Locations
  • Intestine
  • Muscle
  • Nerve Cells
  • Platelet
  • Skin
  • Stratum Corneum
  • Testes
Pyruvate MetabolismSMP00060 map00620
ApplicationsNot Available
Biological RolesNot Available
Chemical RolesNot Available
Physical Properties
AppearanceNot Available
Experimental Properties
Melting Point-60°C
Boiling Point187.6°C
Solubility1E+006 mg/L (at 20°C)
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility952 g/LALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)14.47ChemAxon
pKa (Strongest Basic)-2.9ChemAxon
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count2ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count2ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area40.46 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count1ChemAxon
Refractivity18.97 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability8.01 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings0ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash Key
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-EI-TOF (Pegasus III TOF-MS system, Leco; GC 6890, Agilent Technologies)splash10-014j-0900000000-d90655d5a614c4ddf998View in MoNA
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (2 TMS)splash10-014i-1900000000-ab4a1ff05d1275711170View in MoNA
Predicted GC-MSPredicted GC-MS Spectrum - GC-MSsplash10-055g-9000000000-594a84f802409d0a8265View in MoNA
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - EI-Bsplash10-0002-9000000000-a18bede40461dace657bView in MoNA
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - EI-Bsplash10-0002-9000000000-6d2345a66e2cf8d2d379View in MoNA
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-EI-TOFsplash10-014j-0900000000-d90655d5a614c4ddf998View in MoNA
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-MSsplash10-014i-1900000000-ab4a1ff05d1275711170View in MoNA
Predicted GC-MSPredicted GC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (2 TMS)splash10-0kp0-9520000000-ffe4848ba88742d1a4d6View in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Quattro_QQQ 10V, Positive (Annotated)splash10-0a7i-9000000000-6c96c59f8ba2e0e5353eView in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Quattro_QQQ 25V, Positive (Annotated)splash10-005d-9000000000-ae07e4049d24341335ecView in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Quattro_QQQ 40V, Positive (Annotated)splash10-00aj-9000000000-f455f8f0f79f9970711aView in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - EI-B (HITACHI RMU-7M) , Positivesplash10-0002-9000000000-c5bf57086deb14e12495View in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - EI-B (HITACHI M-80B) , Positivesplash10-0002-9000000000-6d2345a66e2cf8d2d379View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positivesplash10-004i-9000000000-0a1a58ae50ca7bfbc92fView in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positivesplash10-0a6r-9000000000-0c246d88e88be8375dd1View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positivesplash10-052f-9000000000-5e6c0456bbcc20afb607View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negativesplash10-004i-9000000000-5bf5d9d3c7cf604af9a3View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negativesplash10-056r-9000000000-3499fb432cd119926640View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negativesplash10-0a4i-9000000000-36c6bc6082b188beb665View in MoNA
MSMass Spectrum (Electron Ionization)splash10-0002-9000000000-cbc512db1a4c5510015eView in MoNA
1D NMR1H NMR SpectrumNot Available
1D NMR1H NMR SpectrumNot Available
1D NMR13C NMR SpectrumNot Available
1D NMR1H NMR SpectrumNot Available
1D NMR13C NMR SpectrumNot Available
2D NMR[1H,13C] 2D NMR SpectrumNot Available
Toxicity Profile
Route of ExposureNot Available
Mechanism of ToxicityNot Available
MetabolismNot Available
Toxicity ValuesNot Available
Lethal DoseNot Available
Carcinogenicity (IARC Classification)No indication of carcinogenicity to humans (not listed by IARC).
Uses/SourcesPropylene glycol is used as a solvent for intravenous, oral, and topical pharmaceutical preparations It is generally considered safe. Intravenous lorazepam contains the largest amount of propylene glycol of commonly used drugs. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a maximum consumption of 25 mg/kg/day (1.8 g/day for a 75 kg male) of propylene glycol when used as a food additive, but this limit does not address its use as a drug solvent.
Minimum Risk LevelNot Available
Health EffectsNot Available
SymptomsNot Available
TreatmentNot Available
Not Available
DrugBank IDDB01839
FooDB IDFDB008274
Phenol Explorer IDNot Available
KNApSAcK IDC00007410
BiGG IDNot Available
BioCyc IDNot Available
PDB IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkPropylene_glycol
Chemspider ID13835224
ChEBI ID16997
PubChem Compound ID1030
Kegg Compound IDC00583
Synthesis Reference

Rudolf Huettinger, Ulrich Holtschmidt, “Polyoxyalkylene ethers of glycerin or 1,2-propanediol, esterified with fatty acid and/or isostearic acid, their synthesis and use as thickening or solubilizing agents.” U.S. Patent US4614622, issued June, 1968.

General References
1. Tuck, Michael William Marshall. Preparation of propylene glycol by hydrogenation of glycerol. PCT Int. Appl. (2008), 20pp.
2. Tuck, Michael William Marshall. Preparation of propylene glycol by hydrogenation of glycerol. PCT Int. Appl. (2008), 20pp.
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11. Vaddi HK, Ho PC, Chan YW, Chan SY: Oxide terpenes as human skin penetration enhancers of haloperidol from ethanol and propylene glycol and their modes of action on stratum corneum. Biol Pharm Bull. 2003 Feb;26(2):220-8.
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19. Trottet L, Owen H, Holme P, Heylings J, Collin IP, Breen AP, Siyad MN, Nandra RS, Davis AF: Are all aciclovir cream formulations bioequivalent? Int J Pharm. 2005 Nov 4;304(1-2):63-71. Epub 2005 Sep 1.
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