INCI: Propanediol 1,3

CAS: 504-63-2, 26264-14-2

RAW Materials: Corn

Propanediol 1,3 is a versatile ingredient used in cosmetics. An organic compound. It has many benefits, such as being a humectant, emollient, solvent, preservative booster (1,2,3), and a building block in producing polymers.

It is made by converting or fermenting corn sugar by introducing a microorganism to create a 3-carbon diol molecule. Although it is not a pure ingredient, it can be extracted from renewable resources like corn, which makes it a more sustainable option than traditional petrochemical processes. (4,5)

The production of 1,3-PDO can be sourced from renewable feedstocks, such as corn sugar. For instance, DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products operates a facility in the U.S. that produces 1,3-PDO from corn sugar, making it the world’s first bio-based production of this compound – 

U.S.A.: World's first propanediol production from corn sugar opened - Renewable Carbon News (

Propanediol 1,3 can also be produced from glycerol, a by-product of biodiesel production. This bio-based production process is considered more environmentally friendly and sustainable. (6,7) The source of corn can affect the biobased content or the organic certification of propanediol 1,3, (8,9,10) but not its purity or chemical structure. (4,11)

1,3-PDO is fully biodegradable. When it enters the environment, it breaks down naturally over time, minimizing its impact on ecosystems –

1,3-Propanediol: The Future of Sustainable Chemicals, A (

However, it's important to note that the cultivation of corn used as the raw material for propanediol 1,3 has an environmental impact. It requires land, water, fertilizers, and pesticides, which can negatively affect the environment. (12) Additionally, the transportation and processing of corn can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. (13,14)

Production Process: Propanediol 1,3 involves several steps, including fermentation, extraction, purification, and stabilization. These processes can have an environmental impact and may generate waste, emissions, or by-products that can negatively affect the environment and human health (14, 15, 16, 17,18,19)

When comparing propanediol 1,3 and propylene glycol, propanediol 1,3 is generally considered safer and less irritating. (3, 20, 21). Please consider the environmental impact and operating costs of both compounds. (18, 22, 23, 24)   While propanediol 1,3 generally has a smaller environmental footprint and lower costs (18,24,25), both compounds' specific types and qualities can affect the comparison. (3, 18,20, 21, 22, 23, 24)

Efforts are being made to improve the sustainability of Propanediol 1,3 production. One such effort is to use good governance practices, enforce laws and international standards, and ensure compliance with sustainability requirements to avoid negative impacts and promote sustainable practices. (27,28,18)

Cited links:

1-Propanediol 1,3 - Humblebee & Me (

2- Propanediol (1,3 Propanediol): Cosmetic Ingredient INCI (

3- Propanediol for Skin: Dangerous Additive or Helpful Solvent? - Dr. Axe (

4- 1,3-Propanediol - Wikipedia

5- Propanediol 1,3 | Lotioncrafter

6 - High-yield production of 1,3-propanediol from glycerol by metabolically engineered Klebsiella pneumoniae | Biotechnology for Biofuels and Bioproducts | Full Text (

7- Enhanced 1,3-propanediol production with high yield from glycerol through a novel Klebsiella–Shewanella co-culture | Biotechnology for Biofuels and Bioproducts | Full Text (

8 - 1,3 Propanediol Benefits for Hair Care Products as a Glycol Alternative | Dr.UGro™

9- Buy Propanediol | DIY Skin Care & Cosmetics Ingredients (

10- Zemea Brochure Skin Care 2020.indd (

11-1,3-Propanediol | C3H8O2 | ChemSpider

12- Economic and environmental impacts of the corn grain ethanol industry on the United States agricultural sector | Journal of Soil and Water Conservation (

13- Building the Evidence on Corn Ethanol’s Greenhouse Gas Profile | USDA

14- Microsoft Word - Thesis_Paul Stegmann_Final Draft_09.11. (

15- Applied Sciences | Free Full-Text | The Impact of Process Parameters on 1,3-Propanediol Production and 3-Hydroxypropionaldehyde Accumulation in Fed-Batch Fermentation of Glycerol with Citrobacter freundii AD119 (

16- Pollution to Product—a Novel Two-Stage Single-Pot Fermentative Production of 1,3-Propanediol | BioEnergy Research (

17- Recent technological and strategical developments in the biomanufacturing of 1,3-propanediol from glycerol | International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology (

18- Glycerol Transformation to Value-Added 1,3-Propanediol Production: A Paradigm for a Sustainable Biorefinery Process | IntechOpen

19- Glycerol waste to value added products and its potential applications | Systems Microbiology and Biomanufacturing (

20- Propanediol in Cosmetics: Is It Safe to Use? (

21- Propanediol: The Skincare Ingredient Derms Want You to Know (

22- Fermentation | Free Full-Text | Technological Insights on Glycerol Valorization into Propanediol through Thermocatalytic and Synthetic Biology Approaches (

23- US EPA - Propylene Glycol Phase 2 - EPA Response

24- Frontiers | Progress in Production of 1, 3-propanediol From Selective Hydrogenolysis of Glycerol (

25- 1,3 Propanediol Market | Global Industry Size Forecast (

27- Enhancement of 1,3-propanediol production from industrial by-product by Lactobacillus reuteri CH53 | Microbial Cell Factories | Full Text (

28- Recent technological and strategical developments in the biomanufacturing of 1,3-propanediol from glycerol | International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology (