Hello everyone, I am looking for some solvent substitutes for ethanol that are considered non-flammable. Ethanol is a solvent that works well in the system I have, but I desired to keep the flash point above 60 C (140 F). For this reason I am looking for non-flammable solvents with similar properties to ethanol. Water solubility is a must.
Butyl carbitol and butyl cellusolve (diethylene glycol monobutyl and monoethyl ethers, respectively) have similar properties to ethanol but higher flash points. You could try other glycol ethers as well. Most of these solvents have flash points great than 60 C and infinite solubility in water. You will find that these higher flash point solvents do not evaporate as quickly as ethanol.
Have you tried propylene glycol (FP 130 C) or glycerol (FP 160 C)? These are both very similar structurally to ethanol.
(IUPAC) 2-Butoxyethanol (commonly referred to as ethylene glycol monobutyl ether) is Butyl Cellosolve, and it is an interesting compatibilizing solvent but will dissolve more non-polar species than ethanol so if that would be a problem be careful. Propyl Cellosolve probably has a Flash point of 57C, but has good volatility, and Ethoxytriglycol is another option (FP: 129C) but extremely low vapor pressure. I'd expect a blend of these latter two might get you where you need to be perhaps too, but not knowing your application makes it difficult to tell for certain. Wayne mentioned Diethylene Glycol Monoethyl Ether, which is actually Carbitol solvent and with a F.P. of 102C and even lower vapor pressure than Butyl Cellosolve but as Wayne mentioned already, a possible option for you. Dow is a good supplier of all these mentioned so if you can share a bit more with one of their Tech Service folks it may yield the perfect solution for you as their whole line of glycol ethers is water soluble.