2-Butoxyethanol is an organic solvent with the formula BuOC2H4OH (Bu = CH3CH2CH2CH2). It is a colorless liquid with a sweet, ether-like odour. It is butyl ether of ethylene glycol. It is a relatively nonvolatile, inexpensive solvent with modest surfactant properties. 200px-2-butoxyethanol_structure.svg.png

Production

2-Butoxyethanol is produced by monoethoxylation of butanol:
C2H4O + BuOH → BuOC2H4OH
In 2006, the total European production of all butyl glycol ethers amounted to 181 kilotons per annum (kt/a), approximately 50% (90 kt/a) of which was 2-butoxyethanol. World production is estimated to be 200 to 500 kt/a, of which 75% is for paints and coatings.

Uses

2-Butoxyethanol is a solvent in paints and surface coatings, as well as cleaning products and inks. Other products that contain 2-butoxyethanol include acrylic resin formulations, asphalt release agents, firefighting foam, leather protectors, oil spill dispersants, degreaser apllications, and photographic strip solutions. Other products containing 2-butoxyethanol as a primary ingredient include some whiteboard cleaners, liquid soaps, cosmetics, dry cleaning solutions, lacquers, varnishes, herbicides, and latex paints.
It is also frequently found in popular cleaning products. The main ingredient of many home, commercial and industrial cleaning solutions

Saftey

Human exposure:
Moderate respiratory expose to 2-butoxyethanol often results in irritation of mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat. Heavy exposure via respiratory, dermal or oral routes can lead to hypotension, metabolic acidosis, hernolysis, pulmonary edema and coma.