The price of antifreeze is expected to more than double to about $13 a gallon by this winter because of a worldwide shortage of a key ingredient, an industry trade group and a top producer said.

The sharply rising price of antifreeze, which protects a car's engine cooling system from freezing in cold weather, is due to a scarcity of ethylene, which is refined into ethylene glycol under a very expensive process.Ethylene and ethylene glycol are used in areas which are more profitable and voluminous, like polyester fibers and video tapes. The shortage was created largely because of increased demand in those other areas.

Two refinery fires, one at a Louisiana facility operated by Union Carbide Corp., also reduced the availability of ethylene glycol.