I agree with Jeff Adrain's reply that there is a considerable amount of
information written on how to work with alcohol substitutes. If you provide
me with your address, I will put together a package of information and send
it to you.
However, there is one small correction to your question and that is ethylene
glycol is not used as a substitute by itself. It is generally used in
combination with a glycol ether. The most common gylcol ehter used is
The purpose of IPA in fountain solution is two-fold. It serves to reduce the
surface tension of water and increase viscosity. This allows for a thinner
"wetter" layer of fountain soltion to be metered to the plate. Water is the
nemesis of lithography in that the system needs enough water to print, but
too much causes production problems, especially with paper substrates.
The ability to get substitutes work can be a challenge and invovles a close
examination of a variety of factors, some which were mentioned by Jeff. Some
of the issues can be press specific and involve the type of dampening system,
incoming water quality, roller types, roller settings, roller hardness, inks,
substrate interaction, etc.