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Product name 1,3-dioxolane
Synonyms 1.3-dioxacyclopentane
ethylene glycol methylene ether
formaldehyde ethylene acetal
formal glycol
GOST no data
CAS 646-06-0

1,3-Dioxolane (formal glycol) is a clear, colorless liquid. It is fully miscible with water, ether, acetone, tetrahydrofuran. Soluble in most organic solvents. It readily dissolve waxes, fats and oils.

Formal glycol makes bromine water colorless. Being chlorinated it forms a mixture of 2- and 4-substituted derivatives. Bromination results in 2-bromoethyl formate. 1.3-dioxolane hydrolyses under acid conditions to form formaldehyde and ethylene glycol, but stable toward alkalis. Its pyrolysis at 470-500°C leads to ethylene and formic acid formation. 1,3-Dioxolane combines with electronodeficient dienes:

Interaction of 1,3-dioxolane with electronodeficient olefins


Formal glycol is prepared industrially:

  • by condensation of ethylene glycol with formaldehyde in the presence of acidic catalysts (see below);
  • by reaction of ethylene oxide with formaldehyde in the presence of tin tetrachloride SnCl4 or tetraethylammonium bromide (CH3CH2)4NBr:

    1,3-dioxolane synthesis


    1.3-Dioxolane is used:

  • as an extragent for waxes, fats and vegetable oils;
  • as a low-boiling solvent for paints and cellulose esters;
  • as a component of paint strippers and cleaning agent;
  • as a stabilizer for halogenated hydrocarbons;
  • as a co-monomer in polyacetals preparation;
  • in textile industry as a swelling and as a finishing agent;
  • in polymerization processes as a chain length regulator and chain transfer agent;

  • Manufacturer(s) JSC Sintez
    Chemical structure of 1,3-dioxolane

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