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Review of Polyethylene Glycol Production in the CIS

     Polyethylene glycols are water-soluble nonionic oxygen-containing high-molecular ethylene oxide polymers having two terminal hydroxyl groups. They are available in a broad range of molecular weight (MW) grades, from thick liquids (MW<400) to waxy substances (MW 200-2000) and crystalline thermoplastic polymers (MW>2000). Traditionally, the term “polyethylene glycol” is applied to lower molecular adducts with MW<20000, while high molecular weight polymers are usually referred to as polyethylene oxides (PEOs).
     PEG finds numerous uses in cosmetics, household chemical goods; textile, rubber and pharmaceutical industries; metal finishing, medicine and other domains.
     In the CIS, a large-scale production of polyethylene glycols began in the late 1970s; the production facilities are concentrated in Russia and Ukraine. The other CIS countries do not virtually participate in PEG trade; so, the main market players are Russian and Ukrainian companies as well as foreign suppliers and importers.
     Our article mainly covers PEG production facilities in Russia and Ukraine. It describes prevailing trends and analyses export-import flows and gives the outlook for this sector.

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