Propylene carbonate, (4-methyl-1,3-dioxolan-2-one) is a clear, colorless, almost odorless liquid and is used very often due to its positive properties. It is increasingly replacing the cresols, which are classified as critical from an ecological point of view and occupational health and safety. As a carbonate, it is an ester of dibasic carbonic acid, in this case with the dihydric alcohol 1,2-propanediol. Propylene carbonate is a user-friendly solution that is considered a green solvent. It is good for the environment and people and has a high boiling point. It is neither corrosive nor hygroscopic. Another advantage is that it is not a dangerous good in terms of transport regulations and there are no VOC taxes in Switzerland.
The product is characterized by its wide range of possible applications. Propylene carbonate is used as a polar solvent in many industries, but it has many more uses.
In the area of paints and varnishes, propylene carbonate can replace toxicologically questionable substances such as cyclohexanone, DBE, DMF, acetone, MEK, ethyl acetate. Other areas of application as solvents are the manufacture of inks and universal cleaners. The product is also used for degreasing metals. PC plays a role in the production of PU foams, as well as an extraction agent for aromatic hydrocarbons. Propylene carbonate can also be used as a swelling agent for special clay minerals in paints, cosmetics and lubricants. The product is widely used in the plastics industry as a plasticizer. Due to its high purity, PC can even be used as an electrolyte for batteries with a high energy density.