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Thread: glycol (antifreeze) evaporation?

  1. #1
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    Default glycol (antifreeze) evaporation?

    Last spring I poured several gallons of antifreeze into the bilge after I hauled the boat for the season. I'd heard that glycol will replace water content in wood and therefore would reduce the likelihood of rot. I also figured that it might also keep the garboards swelled and reduce the possibility of freezing water pockets between the iron balast keel, keel, and deadwood. I checked the bilge over a couple of months and the glycol was still there. But after an early week-long heat wave I checked the boat (hadn't visited it for several months) and the bilge was dry! There are two possibilities it leaked or it evaporated. I would like to think it evaporated, but does this stuff actually evaporate? I googled ethyl glycol with no luck....

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaff cutter
    I googled ethyl glycol with no luck....
    Try ethylene glycol or propylene glycol. By the way, the stuff that repalces water in wood is polyethylene glycol, commonly called PEG, not anti-freeze.
    Last edited by kc8pql; 05-26-2006 at 07:52 PM.

  3. #3
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    It doesn't evaporate very quickly. I had a heater core leak four years ago. Had the heater core replaced and I can still smell antifreeze when I crank up the heater in cold weather.

  4. #4

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    More likely a seam opened and poured it onto the ground..

  5. #5
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    Make sure you keep cats and dogs away from that stuff. It is sweet smelling and tasting and will kill them quickly.
    Jimmy
    __________
    Loving Living on Lake Bacalar.

  6. #6
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    Dave's your man. Ask him at http://www.angelfire.com/nc3/davecarnell/

  7. #7
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    Default Glycol Evaporation

    Ethylene glycol antifreeze doesn't evaporate. If you set an open container out on the bench, it is so hygroscopic it absorbs water rapidly. It is also strongly absorbed by the cellulose in wood.

    Polyethylene glycol is not absorbed by wood at any appreciable rate unless you heat it. Also, it supports mold and rot growth. Its only practical use is for cosmetics formulation. It is widely used as a prep for colonoscopies even though there it violates the Bill of Rights, as the 8th amendment prohibits cruel and inhumane punishment.

  8. #8
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    Its only practical use is for cosmetics formulation. It is widely used as a prep for colonoscopies even though there it violates the Bill of Rights, as the 8th amendment prohibits cruel and inhumane punishment.[/QUOTE]

    Oh my God did you get that right!

  9. #9
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    Wink Thanks for the help

    Thankyou all. I'll continue to use the glycol during winter storage, and might save and recycle it when the time comes for the colonoscopy.

  10. #10
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    Talking

    Now..Dave...If it doesn't evaporate where does it go.....my old airplane did not show any leaks whatsover either in the hangar or inside the airframe, and after a couple or three flights there always was an empty place where it wuz.......
    also the uninhibited form is used in very high powered radio transmitters as a cooling agent for the klystrons on a pristine clean floor in the radio rooms and a weekly project was switching amplifiers and refilling the ethylene glycol tank.....
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
    "If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned."

  11. #11
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    If ethylene glycol didn't vaporize you wouldn't smell it when a radiator failed.
    edit to add: The pure ethylene glycol is odorless they add color and a bitter taste to it when making antifreeze. But the poison center web site says the vapor phase is a health hazard with no odor to make warning.
    Last edited by ssor; 05-28-2006 at 07:55 AM.

  12. #12
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    Ethylene glycol has an evaporation rate of 0.01 relative to the MSDS evaporation standard butyl acetate (which is defined as having a rating of 1.0). For comparison, mineral spirits (paint thinner) has a rating of 0.15. So a quantity of EG would take ~ 15 times as long to evaporate as a similar quantity of mineral spirts, i.e., don't hold your hand over your fannie while waiting for it to evaporate.

    /// Frank ///

  13. #13
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    Default EG vapor

    The vapor is hazardous in really hot situations as in making polyester polymers. There is no hazard at room temperature or auto cooling system operating temperatures. This from NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health).

  14. #14
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    Dave,

    I'm about to paint the bare damp and slightly musty wood in the boat with anti-freeze, do you have anymore thoughts on its effectiveness as a rot preventative/treatment?

  15. #15
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    Boric salts dissolves in both ethelene and propolene glycol, making a solution sold as a commercial rot perservative. Dunno how effective it actually is. One drawback is that it remains water soluble.

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