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Thioglycolic Acid (TGA)

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CAS Number 68-11-1
Product overview

The Thioglycolic acid (TGA) also called Mercaptoacetic acid (MAA) (CAS 68-11-1) is a high-performance chemical containing mercaptan and carboxylic acid functionalities. 
TGA is completely miscible in water and in general polar organic solvents. TGA is a strong reducing agent especially at high pH and forms powerful complexes with metals that give it specific characteristics. This acid is used in industries and applications as diverse as cosmetics, oil and gas, polymerization, fine chemistry, leather processing, cleaning, and metals receovery.

Geographic availability
  • Worldwide

Chemical Name : Acide thioglycolique, Thioglycolic acid, 2-Mercapto Acetic Acid, 2-Mercapto Ethanoic Acid, Glycolic Acid, 2-thio
Common Name: TGA, TGA 80 %, TGA 99 %

Key Benefits of Thioglycolic Acid

 The Thioglycolic Acid (TGA) is:

  • A polar and dual functional (-SH & -COOH) mercaptan
  • Fully water soluble
  • Colorless and liquid
  • A strong reducing agent especially at high pH
  • A powerful complexing/chelating agent
  • A good nucleophilic agent



A wide range of Industrial applications


The salts of thioglycolic acid and also some of its esters are used in the formulation of perms and for the preparation of depilatory creams. In these applications, the main salts are ammonium thioglycolate and potassium thioglycolate. In some areas, glycerol monothioglycolate is also used.


Oil and Gas

ATG is used in several areas of the Oil and Gas industry:

  • As a reducing and chelating agent to limit Fe3+ precipitation during well drilling or stimulation.
  • For the oil refining, thioglycolic acid mercaptides act as passivating agents during the catalytic cracking of hydrocarbons  to limit the contamination of metal catalysts (Ni, V, etc.)
  • Thioglycolic acid is also used as an additive in corrosion inhibiting formulations to protect the equipment. Corrosion inhibitors are injected either continuously into the fluid stream or into a producing well.  


TGA is a very effective chain transfer agent for emulsion polymerizations in aqueous media, in particular for acrylic acid and acrylates. The total miscibility of TGA with water is a benefit in this application.

Fine chemicals

Thioglycolic acid is used as reagent for the preparation of different chemicals such as  pesticides, herbicide, or for some polythiols and thio-esters.

Leather processing

Alkaline sodium thioglycolate is used for the removal of hair during the beamhouse step in the industry of the leather hides’ treatment. It allows the manufacturers to obtain a more resource-efficient and less polluting process as compared to the more toxic and harmful sodium hydrosulfide. Compound (NaSH). Indeed, it minimizes the wastewater treatment and reduces the risk of hydrogen sulfide generation therefore improving the working conditions and safety.


Cleaning formulations

Due to their ability to complex with metals, thioglycolic acid and thioglycolic acid salts are excellent additives in cleaning solutions, in particular for automotive applications including automotive wheel rim cleaners.

Mining & Metal treatment

TGA and its derivatives are also used as depressant agents in flotation processes for separating valuable metals from ores in mining operations. TGA derivatives are a safer alternative to the more traditional sodium sulfhydrate (NaSH), particularly in mining environments.

Thioglycolic acid (TGA) is also an additive for coating formulations for metal surface cleaning and protection from corrosion and other damages.

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2-Ethylhexyl Thioglycolate
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  • Fine chemical as intermediate compounds.

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