Frequently Asked Questions
Propylene Glycol USP, Excipient Grade/EP, EVO-100™

What makes your product biobased and what is it made from? 
Our propylene glycol is manufactured from glycerin, a coproduct produced from vegetable oils during the manufacture of biodiesel or fatty acids. Glycerin is a vegetable oil derived product that contains 100% biobased, plant derived carbon. ADM’s process can also accommodate other carbohydrate feedstocks that are also 100% biobased.

How can you be sure that your raw materials and propylene glycol are bio-based?
ADM manages the sourcing of the raw materials through our logistics network to maintain both biobased and kosher integrity.

In addition, ASTM International, a globally recognized leader in international standards, has developed test method D6866 as a way to tell the difference between “new” or biobased carbon versus fossil-carbon containing compounds. This method is able to distinguish the biobased percentage of a compound or mixture.

How does ADM’s biobased product compare to the petroleum derived propylene glycol?
ADM’s propylene glycol meets the same USP specifications as petroleum based PG. The main difference is the 100% biobased carbon content in our product. Traditionally, propylene glycol has been derived from propylene oxide, a petrochemical intermediate with no biobased content.

Is the functionality the same?
Yes. ADM’s propylene glycol has the same molecular structure as petrochemical based PG.

Is your production reliable?
Yes. ADM took the necessary steps to ensure that reliable production of high quality product would be achieved. To address these concerns, we piloted the necessary design modifications, reviewed and updated our operational safety program and then implemented the improvements at scale to bring the facility online in late March, 2011. Because ADM is committed to safely and reliably producing high-quality, biobased propylene glycol, we took time to ensure our facility was getting the right results, the right way.

Is your product kosher?
Yes. ADM uses only verified kosher sources of feedstock for the production of propylene glycol and has certification throughout our production and transportation network to produce propylene glycol that meets kosher requirements.

Is your product natural?
No. While the raw materials used in the manufacture of ADM propylene glycol are naturally sourced biobased products, propylene glycol itself is not a natural product because of the chemical conversion from one molecule to another.

Is the product GMO?
Different countries have different criteria for labeling as GMO, therefore one should consult your national legislation for labeling requirements. While the raw material may be derived from genetically modified crops, the products themselves are distinct chemicals that go through thermochemical conversion followed by multiple refining steps. Through this processing, the genetic material and protein, should it be present from the agricultural source, is removed to non-detectable levels in the final product.

Does your propylene glycol contain residual solvents?
ADM’s USP-PG meets or exceeds all specifications set by USP, EP and JP, including limits established for residual solvents.

I’ve heard your process produces ethylene glycol. Is this a concern?
The chemical process used by ADM produces ethylene glycol as a minor coproduct. The ethylene glycol that is produced is separated from propylene glycol through a distillation process. Our product meets or exceeds the specification considered acceptable for excipients set by United States Pharmacopeia for ethylene glycol content. United States Pharmacopeia lists ethylene glycol as a class 2 residual solvent with permitted daily exposure of 6.2 mg/day. USP defines permitted daily exposure as a pharmaceutically acceptable intake of residual solvents. For more information, see United States Pharmacopeia, Chapter 467 – Residual Solvents or contact the ADM Technical Services team.

Is the impurity profile of ADM biobased Propylene Glycol identical to that of petroleum based PG?
No. Different chemical processes utilized to produce propylene glycol yield different impurities. Petroleum based PG is produced by reacting propylene oxide to form PG and various other compounds. The material is then refined to decrease impurities to specified levels. ADM biobased PG is produced by the catalytic conversion of glycerin to form PG. Minor amounts of other compounds are also generated in this reaction, such as ethylene glycol. The product is refined into a high purity Propylene Glycol leaving only trace impurity levels in the final product. These impurities are reduced to a very low level in order to assure the quality and safety of the product. The difference in trace impurities between biobased PG and petroleum based PG may be observed in chromatographic testing you perform. For more specific information please contact the ADM Technical Services team.

Does ADM’s biobased Propylene Glycol meet the standard compendial tests utilized to test petroleum based PG?
Yes. ADM’s biobased Propylene Glycol meets all of the specifications set forth in the USP, EP, JP and FCC.

Based on these tests, biobased PG performs identically to the petroleum based material. Chromatographic test results may appear dissimilar based on the difference in trace impurities in the petroleum based PG versus the biobased PG. These differences are minor and do not impact the safety, quality or performance of ADM’s biobased PG.

When you say sustainable, what does that mean? Can I claim that on my product packaging?
Life Cycle Analyses (LCA) studies, reviewed and endorsed by third parties, show that propylene glycol produced by ADM provides a 61% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when compared to PG derived from petrochemical production. In addition, ADM USP-PG was certified by the USDA as a 100% biobased product when tested by ASTM D6866. Different countries have different criteria for using ”sustainable” in marketing materials, and one should consult your national legislation for marketing purposes.

What is Biopreferred? What is the USDA Biobased Labeling Program? How can the use of ADM Propylene Glycol help me participate in these programs?
The USDA BiopreferredSM program promotes the purchase and use of biobased products by providing trusted verification and making it easy for people to identify renewable natural resource alternatives, as opposed to non-renewable synthetic or petrochemical derived ones. This program supports resourcefulness and self-reliance.

The USDA Biopreferred Voluntary Labeling Initiative is the consumer-focused labeling part of the USDA biobased product program that also includes the Federal preferred purchasing program.

ADM can provide you with validation that our USP-PG is 100% biobased when tested by ASTM D6866. Please call us to find out how we can help you increase the biobased content of your products.

Where can I find more information on this program?
The USDA BiopreferredSM Program has a very informative website:

Is ADM's biobased propylene glycol REACH registered?
Yes. ADM's propylene glycol is registered under CAS number 57-55-6.  ADM’s Only Representative Company located in Europe is ADM Services BV.  This company is fulfilling our REACH obligations for PG in Europe.  Please contact the ADM Sales team for more information regarding importation options into Europe.

The information contained herein is correct as of the date of this document to the best of our knowledge. Any recommendations or suggestions are made without guarantee or representation as to results and are subject to change without notice. We suggest you evaluate any recommendations and suggestions independently. We disclaim any and all warranties, whether express or implied, and specifically disclaim the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. Our responsibility for claims arising from any claim for breach of warranty, negligence, or otherwise shall not include consequential, special, or incidental damages, and is limited to the purchase price of material purchased from us. None of the statements made here shall be construed as a grant, either express or implied, of any license under any patent held by Archer Daniels Midland Company or other parties. Customers are responsible for obtaining any licenses or other rights that may be necessary to make, use, or sell products containing Archer Daniels Midland Company ingredients.

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