As an organic acid, glycolic acid has a good cleaning function for certain metal scales. Since glycolic acid
does not contain chloride ions, it is extremely corrosive to equipment materials and is particularly suitable for cleaning steel equipment. At the same time, its mixture with formic acid or citric acid works well for removing scale from supercritical boilers. Moreover, its decomposition products are volatile, non-toxic and odorless. Therefore, the safety performance is excellent. At present, it is mandatory in developed countries to use glycolic acid
as a cleaning agent for power plant supercritical boilers to avoid secondary pollution and achieve environmental protection. In addition it removes calcium carbonate and magnetic iron oxide, so it can be used to remove hard water scale from any type of heat exchanger. It also removes carbonate and iron scale easily and has a significant inhibitory effect on the growth of iron oxidizing bacteria. Therefore, it is not necessary to add a chelating agent and a bactericide when purifying the well water. In addition, foreign countries are also widely used for cleaning equipment such as air conditioners.
2. Daily chemical products
In recent years, glycolic acid has been widely used in skin care products at home and abroad. It is a better treatment for removing dead skin and hair. The results show that as the pH of the aqueous solution of glycolic acid decreases, its stimulated skin cell regeneration rate and skin irritation will increase. At a pH close to 3, it exhibits a degree of irritation and a strong incentive to regenerate the skin. At a pH close to 7, it is less irritating and its stimulating effect on the skin is also diminished. In addition, it is also used in the synthesis of anti-aging skin and whitening cosmetics - fruit acid. In the United States, only 15,000 tons of glycolic acid is consumed per year for the preparation of fruit acids. At present, domestic consumption is also increasing rapidly.
3. Biodegradable new materials
Polyglycolic acid formed by glycolic acid and copolymer of glycolic acid and lactic acid has excellent biodegradability and biocompatibility. They can be excreted in the body by degradation, metabolism into carbon dioxide and water. Therefore, they are widely used in the preparation of in vivo implantable sustained release drug systems, implantable prosthetic devices, bioabsorbable surgical sutures, and artificial bones and organ materials. They are very promising. At present, polyglycolic acid and polylactic acid have become the development focus of new materials.