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, dihydric alcohol in which the two hydroxyl groups are bonded to different carbon atoms; the general formula for a glycol is (CH2)n(OH)2.
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any of the monoethers of ethylene glycol having the general formula ROCH2CH2OH, where R represents a hydrocarbon radical.
The simplest cellosolves are colorless liquids that have a weak odor and are readily miscible with water and organic solvents. The boiling point of methyl cellosolve (R = CH3) is 124.6°C; that of ethyl cellosolve (R = C2H5) is 135.1°C; and that of butyl cello-solve (R = C4H9) is 171.1°C. Like alcohols, cellosolves form a number of derivatives, including alcoholates (such as CH3OCH2CH2ONa) and esters (such as ethyl cellosolve acetate, C2H5OCH2CH2OCOCH3, which has a boiling point of 156.4°C).
Cellosolves are produced by the reaction of ethylene oxide with the corresponding alcohols. They are used as solvents of esters of cellulose (mainly cellulose nitrates and acetyl cellulose) in the manufacture of movie and photographic film, paint, varnish, and lacquers. The cellosolves of some higher alcohols (from C10 to C20) are used in the production of surfactants.