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Replying to Field Glycol test

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:59 PM

Additionally, it occurs to me that one Gas Chromatograph would be sufficient to tell the difference (less the Mass Spectroscopy). All you would have to do is spike the sample with either EG or PG. You would expect to see an air peak followed by a water peak followed by either one or two glycol peaks depending upon which glycol you used to spike the sample. If you used two samples and spiked one with EG and the other with PG, the outcome would really be obvious.


Posted 27 October 2012 - 12:11 PM

Leslie, I am not aware of a field test. I believe the easiest way to determine this would be by using GC-Mass Spectroscopy. This would be a little expensive. You could in the field determine some physical properties. Let us take a 40% solution of EG and compare it to a 40% solution of PG.

A 40% solution of EG has a refractive index of 1.3728 while a 40% solution of PG has a refractive index of 1.3780. Those numbers are very close together and it would be hard to differentiate them.

A 40% solution of EG has specific gravity of 1.0532 at 200C (compared to water at 200C) while a 40% solution of PG has specific gravity of 1.0326 at 200C (compared to water at 200C). This you should be able to use to differentiate them when compared to the refractive indices which are essentially identical within your likely measurement error.

The above data are from my CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.

I have a number of refractometers here in stock since I sell them. Doing a little interpolation, I see that a 40% solution of EG will freeze at -120F while a 40% solution of PG (using interpolation) will freeze at -40F. That you may be able to use for differentiation between the two.

I expect that I should be able to find Industrial Tables for EG and PG that would give Boiling Point Data.

If you have a specific refractive index you would like me to cross reference some data on, let me know. Or if you need a refractometer, I can give you a good price. LOL.

Posted 26 October 2012 - 09:45 PM

Do you know of any quick field test to determine whether a glycol sample is PG or EG? I can check percentage but I'm finding many don't know what they have in th system.

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