GLYCERINE = GLYCERIN = GLYCEROL = Humectant (glycerol (E 422)) = Propane-1,2,3-triol

Synonyms: Propanetriol, Glycerin, 1,2,3-Trihydroxypropane, Glycerol
INCI: Glycerine
Chemical Formula: C3H8O3
CAS Number: 56-81-5

EC / List no.: 200-289-5
CAS no.: 56-81-5
Mol. formula: C3H8O3

Synonyms: GLYCERIN
CAS number: 56-81-5
JECFA number: 909
INS: 422
FEMA number: 2525

Functional Class: Flavouring Agent


Food Additives

Food Additives

Food Additives

Food Additives

Glycerol, sometimes referred to as glycerin, is a sugar alcohol widely used in a variety of personal care products, including toothpaste, hair conditioner, cosmetics, and moisturizers.


IUPAC name
Propane-1,2,3-triol [1]
Other names

Glycerol (also called glycerine or glycerin) is a simple polyol compound. It is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is sweet-tasting and non-toxic. The glycerol backbone is found in those lipids known as glycerides. Due to having antimicrobial and antiviral properties it is widely used in FDA approved wound and burn treatments. It can be used as an effective marker to measure liver disease. It is also widely used as a sweetener in the food industry and as a humectant in pharmaceutical formulations. Owing to the presence of three hydroxyl groups, glycerol is miscible with water and is hygroscopic in nature.

Glycerine is an outstanding moisturizer and skin cleanser that also provides softening and lubricating benefits. 
It is hypoallergenic and easily soluble in water, making it suitable for use in all of your favorite cosmetic applications.

Glycerine is used as a sweetener, humectant, preservative and solvent in food and beverages. This chemical is used as a thickening agent in liqueurs and filler in commercially produced low-fat foods. It is used in the preservation of certain kinds of plant leaves. Glycerin is a better substitute for sugar since it is only 60% as sweet as sucrose. Glycerine as a food additive has the E number E422.

This chemical finds applications in pharmaceutical, medical and personal care industries for enhancing smoothness, offering lubrication and acting as a humectant. Glycerol is used in cough syrups, expectorants, mouthwashes, toothpaste, shaving creams, soaps, skin care and hair care products. Red blood cells are preserved with glycerine before they are frozen. It is used as a laxative in the form of suppositories.
Glycerin is an alternative to ethanol as a solvent in the preparation of herbal extractions. Nitroglycerin is produced from glycerol, which is an important component of propellants like cordite and explosives like gelignite and dynamite. The durability of pressure gauges can be increased with glycerin, where the chemical damps vibrations by filling the air space.

Glycerine, also called glycerol, has moisturizing, emollient and protective properties. 
Its name comes from the Greek “glykerós” which means sweet. 
Glycerine comes in the form of a sweet, soft, colourless and odourless liquid. 
Glycerine is capable of capturing and retaining water efficiently. 

Glycerine is used in pharmaceuticals, personal care product, toiletries and cosmetics as solvents and humectants; 
Food additives; Animal feed; As humidifiers and plasticizers for tobacco; 
Glycerine is used in adhesives, agricultural chemicals, antifreeze, coatings, manufacture of electrolytes for electrolytic condensers, fuel, inks; 
Glycerine is used as plasticizers and lubricants for plastics and in manufacturing of paper; As conditioning agents in textiles; As a raw material in production of epichlorohydrin, propylene glycol, polyurethane foams, nitroglycerine, alkyd resins for paints etc.

It is a sweet tasting, colorless, odorless, nontoxic, viscous liquid that is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations as well as food industry and also used in coatings resins and adhesives.

Glycerine is a multi-functional product used in a wide variety of applications such as anti-freeze agents, tobacco products, surface coatings, paper and more.

Glycerine is a sugar alcohol compound and has three hydroxyl groups that are responsible for its solubility in water and its hygroscopic nature.

Glycerine, or glycerol is a simple polyol compound. It is a sweet tasting, colorless, odorless, nontoxic, viscous liquid that is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations. 
Glycerol has three hydroxyl groups that are responsible for its solubility in water and its hygroscopic nature. 
The glycerol backbone is central to all lipids known as triglycerides.

Glycerine is a 3-carbon alcohol, aka glycerol. It is non-volatile and intensely hygroscopic (water-loving), and can be rinsed off any surface with ordinary water.

Pure glycerine has recently been found to hasten cell maturation and suppress inflammation. Glycerine is a major component of numerous expensive soaps.

Glycerine is produced in huge quantities in its impure form as a byproduct of biofuel generation. This crude form is treated mostly as a waste product and is generally disposed of or burned.

Pure glycerine, or glycerol, has a wide range of applications in the food, pharmaceutical, medical and personal care industries, as well as a variety of industrial and scientific uses.

In foods and beverages, glycerol serves as a humectant, solvent, and artificial sweetener. It is also used as filler in commercially prepared low-fat foods, and as a thickening agent in liqueurs.

Glycerol is used in medical, pharmaceutical and personal care preparations mainly as a means of improving smoothness, providing lubrication, and as a humectant. It is found in allergen immunotherapies, cough syrups, elixirs and expectorants, toothpaste, mouthwashes, skin care products, shaving cream, hair care products, glycerin soaps and water-based personal lubricants. Nitroglycerin is the most commonplace treatment for chronic angina, the chest pain of heart disease.

Topical pure or nearly pure glycerol is an effective treatment for psoriasis, burns, bites, cuts, rashes, bedsores, and calluses. It can be used orally to eliminate halitosis, as it is a contact bacterial desiccant. The same property makes it very helpful with periodontal disease; it penetrates biofilm quickly and eliminates bacterial colonies.

In surface science, glycerol is shown to reduce the coefficient of friction of polymer-coated surfaces by several orders of magnitude. It is also used as an alcohol-free alternative to ethanol as a solvent in preparing herbal extractions.

Glycerol is used to produce nitroglycerin, or glyceryl tinitrate (GTN), which is an essential ingredient of smokeless gunpowder and various explosives such as dynamite, gelignite, and propellants like cordite.

Glycerol or glycerine is the most commonly used name for Propan-1,2,3-triol. 
Glycerine made by the separation of fats is chemically always identical, regardless of the fat grade/type used. It is a colorless, odorless viscous liquid with a sweetish taste and non-toxic. It is miscible with water and alcohol in any possible ratio.

Due to its properties, glycerine can be used in many different technical applications, for example as raw material for the manufacturing of alkyd resins, as plasticizer for polyurethane (PU) as antifogging agent, heat carrier fluid or refrigerant.

Glycyl alcohol
Glycerin, synthetic
Glycerin, anhydrous
Synthetic glycerin
Synthetic glycerine
Glycerin mist
Incorporation factor
Glycerin (mist)
90 Technical glycerine
Glycerine mist
Citifluor AF 2
Glicerina [DCIT]
Caswell No. 469
Propanetriol (VAN)
Glycerin base
FEMA No. 2525
Glicerol [INN-Spanish]
Glycerolum [INN-Latin]
Clyzerin, wasserfrei
Pricerine 9091
Clyzerin, wasserfrei [German]
Emery 916
CCRIS 2295
HSDB 492
EPA Pesticide Chemical Code 063507
Collyrium Fresh-Eye Drops
Glycerol solution
NSC 9230
BRN 0635685
Monoctanoin Component D
Pentrioxido sulfurico glycerincol
Glycerin anhydrous
Glycerol polymer
Glycerol (INN)
Glycerol [INN]
Unigly G 2
Unigly G 6
Glycerol; Propane-1,2,3-Triol
Glycerol, 99.6%, ACS reagent
Glycerol, 99+%, pure, synthetic
Glycerol, ACS reagent, >=99.5%
Glyceol Opthalgan
Glycerol, 99.5+%, for spectroscopy
Glycerin - mist
Glycerin, natural
Tegin M
Glycerol, polymers
Glycerin [USP:JAN]
HL 80
Glycerol, pure, 83.5-88.5 wt% aqueous solution
EINECS 200-289-5
Glycerol, for analysis, 86-88% wt% aqueous solution
Glycerin - mist, Respirable
glycerine usp
glycerol group
Artifical tears

Organic Glycerin
Organic Glycerine
Glycerine (crude)
Polyhydric alcohols
Glycerol, ultrapure
Glycerin USP grade
Glycerine 96%
Glycerol 85%
Glycerin 99.5%
Glycerine 96% USP
90 Technical glycerin
Emery 912
E 422
EC 200-289-5
EC 607-759-2
Glycerol, >=99.5%
Glycerol, biochemical grade
Glycerin Reagent Grade ACS
Glycerine (Fragrance Grade)
Glycerol, LR, >=98%
Glycerol, analytical standard
4-01-00-02751 (Beilstein Handbook Reference)

Glycerine, or glycerol is a simple polyol compound. It is a colorless, odorless, nontoxic, viscous liquid that is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations. 
Glycerol has three hydroxyl groups that are responsible for its solubility in water and its hygroscopic nature. The glycerol backbone is central to all lipids known as triglycerides.

Glycerol is chiefly produced by saponification of fats as a byproduct of soap making. 
It is also a byproduct of the production of biodiesel via transesterification. This form of crude glycerin is often dark in appearance with a thick, syrup-like consistency. 
Triglycerides are treated with an alcohol such as ethanol with catalytic base to give ethyl esters of fatty acids and glycerol.

Glycerol has a very sweet taste and is the main byproduct of making biodiesel. Pure glycerine has thousands of uses.

Glycerine is an material of outstanding utility with many areas of application. 
The key to glycerine's technical versatility is a unique combination of physical and chemical properties, ready compatibility with many other substances, and easy handling. 
Glycerine is also virtually nontoxic to human health and to the environment . 
Physically, glycerine is a water-soluble, clear, almost colorless, odorless, viscous, hygroscopic liquid with a high boiling point. 
Chemically, glycerine is a trihydric alcohol, capable of being reacted as an alcohol yet stable under most conditions. 
With such an uncommon blend of properties, glycerine finds application among a broad diversity of end uses. 
In some, glycerine is the material of choice because of its physical characteristics, while other uses rely on glycerine's chemical properties. 
Glycerine has over 1500 known end uses. Major, or large volume, applications include some dozen different categories that range from foods to urethane foams.

The origin, chemical structure, and utility of glycerine have been known for little more than two centuries. 
Glycerine was accidentally discovered in 1779 by K. W. Scheele, the Swedish chemist, while he was heating a mixture of olive oil and litharge (lead monoxide). 
Scheele called glycerine the "sweet principle of fat."
Scheele later established that other metals and glycerides produce the same chemical reaction which yields glycerine and soap and, in 1783, he published a description of his method of preparation in l?ansactions of the Royal Academy of Sweden. 
Scheele's method was used to produce glycerine commercially for some years., 
The immense potential of glycerine went largely untapped until M. E. Chevreul, the French pioneer investigator of fats and oils, studied it early in the 19th Century. 
Chevreul named Scheele's "sweet principle of fat" glycerine in 1811 after the Greek word, glykys, meaning sweet." 
In 1823 Chevreul obtained the first patent for a new way to produce fatty acids from fats treated with an alkali, which included the recovery of glycerine released during the process.

Glycerine did not become economically or industrially significant until Alfred Nobel invented dynamite in 1866 after twenty years of experimentation. 
Nobel's invention successfully stabilized trinitroglycerin, a highly explosive compound, by absorption on kieselguhr, which permitted safe handling and transportation.
The invention of dynamite and the later invention of blasting gelatin, also by Nobel, thrust glycerine into economic and military importance. 

Dynamite became the first worldwide technical application for glycerine and through it, glycerine had an enormous influence on industrial development. 
Dynamite unlocked immense underground deposits of minerals and fuels from which much chemicak and technical progress later sprang. 
Huge amounts of dyhamite were also consumed in building railroads and in other construction projects. 
A notable example is the Panama Canal, which required about 8,000 tons of the explosive, an amount equivalent to about 4,000 tons of glycerine.' 
Glycerine plays an important role in nature, too. It is one of nature's wonders and is closely linked to the life processes themselves, being a component of all living cells. 
It occurs naturally in wines, beers, bread, and other fermentation products of grains and sugars. 
Glycerine is found abundantly in nature in the form of triglycerides, the chemical combinations of glycerine and fatty acids which are the principal constituents of almost all vegetable and animal fats and oils. 
'higlycerides in plants originate from carbohydrates produced photosynthetically from water and carbon dioxide. 
In animals, they appear to be formed through assimilation of triglycerides present in foods and through biosynthesis from other food substances, especially carbohydrates. 
The chemistry of triglyceride synthesis in both plants and animals is highly complex and still not completely understood. 

Industrially, glycerine is a product of fats and oils that have been saponified, hydrolysed, or transesterified, which is recovered in a crude state and then purified by distillation or ion exchange, or it is synthesized from propylene. 
Glycerine may also be produced by fermentation or hydrogenolysis of carbohydrates, but these routes currently are not utilized industrially; however, they were used during World Wars I and I1 in Europe.' 
Glycerine, whether recovered from triglycerides or synthesized, is almost always consumed as a refined or purified substance. 
Producers of glycerine, whether natural or synthetic, strictly monitor each stage of processing from pretreatment of crude or precursor materials to finishing to assure high purity and uniform quality.
Glycerine Definitions and Grades 
glycerine glycerin glycerol 

Glycerol is usually produced as a byproduct of the transesterification of a triglyceride in the production of natural fatty acid derivatives. 
These derivatives are utilized in many areas from pharmaceuticals and food industry to alternative fuels, e.g., biodiesel, and thus as the production of glycerol raises its price decreases. 
In addition, glycerol has also promising physical and chemical properties. 
It has a very high boiling point and negligible vapor pressure; it is compatible with most organic and inorganic compounds, and does not require special handling or storage. 
Glycerol, as other polar organic solvents such as DMSO and DMF, allows the dissolution of inorganic salts, acids, and bases, as well as enzymes and transition metal complexes (TMCs), but it also dissolves organic compounds that are poorly miscible in water and is non-hazardous. 
Different hydrophobic solvents such as ethers and hydrocarbons which are immiscible in glycerol allow removing the products by simple extraction. 
Distillation of products is also feasible due to the high boiling point of glycerol.

GLYCERINE is the most commonly used commercial name in the United States for products whose principal component is glycerol, but it is frequently spelled GLYCERIN. 
More precisely, however, glycerin applies to purified commercial products containing 95% or more of glycerol. 
GLYCEROL (CAS registry No. 56-81-5; NIOSH No. MA8050000) refers to the chemical compound 1,2.3-propanetriol, CH, OHCHOHCH,OH, and to the anhydrous content in a glycerine product or in a formulation. 
Concentration is by weight, normally obtained by conversion from specific gravity measurements made at either 20120°C or 25125°C. 
Outside the United States. especially in Europe, glycerol is a much more broadly applied term, being employed much in the same manner as glycerine is in the United States. 
Glycerol in European usage may pertain to any grade of glycerine, including crude. 

Glycerine is an important article of domestic and international commerce. 
The designations for the various grades of glycerine used in the United States and in terntinolog y Europe are prevalent worldwide because these areas are the leaders in glycerine product types production and consumption. 
Accordingly, reference is made to European nomenclature for similar U.S. grades or types of commercially available glycerine where possible in the discussion that follows. 

USP GLYCERIN(E1 is a clear, almost colorless product for uses requiring glycerine of high purity with taste and odor characteristics desirable for pharmaceutical and food purposes. 
Its glycerol content in aqueous solution is "not less than 95%," as defined by a specific gravity of not less than 1.249 at 25125°C. 
The designation USP is an abbreviation of U.S. Pharmacopeia and signifies that the glycerine thus designated meets or exceeds the standards established in U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP XXII, 1990) monograph, Glycerin. 
The USP designation has official legal status in the United States since the U.S. Pharmacopeia has been incorporated by reference in various statutes and regulations governing drug and medical practices, of which the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act is the most significant. 
USP glycerine is commonly available commercially at anhydrous glycerol content levels of 96%. 99.0% and 99.5%. 

Concentrations above 99.5% are also available commercially. The European equivalent of USP in the United States is PH.EUR., commonly followed by a percentage indicating glycerol content (e.g., PH.EUR.99.5% ). 
The PH.EUR label signifys that the glycerine so designated meets the specifications of the European Pharmacopoeia 11 (1986), as determined by analytical methods given in the same compendium. 
The European Pharmacopeia obtains in the European Economic Community (EEC), i.e., it supersedes the national pharmacopeias of member countries.

CP GLYCERINE or chemically pure glycerine is generally understood to be of the same quality or grade as USP glycerine, but this term is considered generic in the United States because it does not reflect compliance with any official quality requirements or specifications as does the USP designation. 

In Europe, the term CP glycerine is understood to conform with the standard specification for CHEMICALLY PURE GLYCEROL, BS 2625:1979 issued by the British Standards Institution. 

A notation in this standard states that glycerol meeting the criteria of BS 2625:1979 will also comply with the requirements of the European Pharmacopeia. 

FOOD GRADE GLYCERINE in the United States meets the requirements outlined in the monograph Glycerin contained in the Food Chemicals Codex prepared by the Committee on Food Protection of the National Research Council. Food grade requirements are similar to USP standards. 
Within the European Economic Community, glycerine for use in food products must comply with Council Directive 78/663/EEC which specifies the standards of purity for emulbifiers, stabilizers, thickeners, and gelling agents for use in foods. 

HIGH GRAVITY GLYCERINE is a designation used in the United States for a commercial grade of glycerine that is clear, almost colorless and conforms to Federal Specification 0-G-491C issued November 14, 1983 by the General Services Administration. 

This product also conforms to Standard Specijication for High-Gravity Glycerin, 0-1257, issued by the American Society for 'Esting and Materials (ASTM). 
This grade must contain not less than 98.7% glycerol based on specific gravity of 1.2587 minimum at 25125OC. 

It is commonly supplied at not less than 99.0% concentration (specific gravity minimum 1.2595 at 25/25OC). 
ASTM Standard Specification D-1257 is also recognized in Europe to define a grade of glycerine for industrial purposes. 

DYNAMITE GLYCERINE in the United States meets all the High Gravity grade specifications except color, but it cannot be darker than the Federal Color Standard. 
In Europe, glycerine for use in explosives is defined by Specffication 21D for dynamite glycerine issued by the Nobel Explosives Company Ltd. 

The British Standards Institution has also issued a standard specification for this grade of glycerine as Britlsh Standard Specflcation for Dynamite Glycerol, BS 2624: 1979.

SAPONIFICATION (88%) CRUDE AND SOAP LYE (80%) CRUDE are generic terms used in the United States to designate grades of crude glycerine recovered from triglycerides. 
The percentages refer to the glycerol content of the crudes. 
Saponfication crude is a concentrate of the "sweetwater" from fat hydrolysis or "splitting." 
In Europe, the term for this type of crude is HYDROLYSER CRUDE GLYCEROL. 
Hydrolyser crude glycerol contains not less than 88% glycerol and conforms to Britfsh Standard Specification BS 2622: 1979. 

Soap lye crude is the product of the spent lye of the soap kettle, after concentration in a desalting evaporator. 
In Europe, crude glycerine of this derivation is called SOAP LYE CRUDE GLYCEROL. 
It contains not less than 80.0% glycerol and meets the requirements given in British Standard SpeciJication for Soap Lye Crude Glycerol BS 2621: 1979. 

Although important articles of commerce, these grades of glycerine are almost never consumed in any process except refining. 

Glycerine Properties and Performance lndustrial consumption of glycerine in the United States per year is in the neighborhood of 300 million pounds, mainly in such large volume applications as urethane foams, alkyd resins, drugs. foods. tobacco, dentifrices, and cosmetics. 
Products requiring smaller quantities of glycerine, but in which glycerine's function is equally essential, number in the hundreds. 
Among them are such diverse materials as antifreeze solutions, soldering fluxes, cements, textiles, and waxes. 
Glycerine's versatility is a tribute to its unique combination of chemical and physical properties. 
Chemically, glycerine is a trihydric alcohol which is very stable under most trihydric alcohol conditions, but which can be reacted to form many derivatives. 
Physically, it is a clear, almost colorless, viscous, high-boiling liquid miscible with water and alcohol, and like these materials, a good solvent. 
At low temperatures, glycerine tends to supercool, rather than crystallize. 
Water solutions of glycerine resist freezing, a property responsible for glycerine's use as a permanent antifreeze in cooling clear liquid, systems. 
Among its most valuable attributes are hygroscopicity, or the ability to almost colorless absorb moisture from the atmosphere, and low vapor pressure, a combination that produces outstanding permanent humectancy and plasticity. 
Glycerine is virtually nontoxic9 in the digestive system and non-irritating to the skin and sensitive membranes, except in very high concentrations when a dehydrating effect is noted. 
It is also odorless and has a warm sweet taste. Some of glycerine's uses depend on its chemical properties, one such example being the manufacture of urethane polymers. 
Others make use of one or more of its physical characteristics, such as toothpaste and moisturizing cream. 
Quite often, however, the choice of glycerine in either type of application may depend upon secondary factors such as virtual nontoxicity and freedom from disagreeable odor or taste. 
Esters used as food emulsifiers are outstanding examples of chemical applications for glycerine where nontoxicity of reactants is essential. 

Similarly food wraps and bottle cap liners in intimate contact with food and beverages require a plasticizer-humectant that cannot be a source of contamination, and hence glycerine is a common choice. 
The ability to meet a nontoxicity requirement plus the availability of bonus properties in addition to those associated with its principal function in a product make glycerine a prized ingredient among chemists and formulators. 
In a hand cream, for example, glycerine may be incorporated as an ingredient because of its outstanding humectancy. 
Simultaneously, glycerine's emollient qualities may improve the efficacy of the formulation, its viscosity may give the product a very desirable body, its antifreeze qualities may afford necessary protection in shipping and storage-all in addition to the main function of maintaining the moisture content of the product at the proper level. 
Glycerine is a trihydric alcohol and, like other alcohols, forms esters, ethers. amines, aldehydes, and compounds analogous to metallic alcoholates. 
But, because of its multiple hydroxyl groups, it can be reacted to form an unusually large number 6 three hydroxyl groups attracts and holds water from air of derivatives. 
One, two or three of these hydroxyls can be replaced with other chemical groups, thus permitting the synthesis of many different derivatives with properties designed for specific applications. 
Structurally, glycerine has two primary and one secondary hydroxyl groups. 
The primary hydroxyl groups generally are more reactive than the secondary group and, of the two primary groups, the first to react usually does so more readily than the second. 
In any reaction, however, the second and third hydroxyls will react to some extent before all the most reactive groups are exhausted. 
Reaction mixtures thus contain isomers and products of different degrees of reaction, with the relative amounts of each reflecting their ease of formation. 
Glycerine is stable to atmospheric oxidation under ordinary conditions, but can be readily oxidized by other oxidants. Partial oxidation is generally difficult to control to give a large yield of a single product. 

Applications in which glycerine's versatility as a chemical is exploited account for approximately half of the glycerine consumed by industry. 
The most important industrial class of derivatives is esters, which are formed by reacting glycerine with acids, usually at high temperatures. 
Among these are alkyd resins of long chain fatty acids. 

Glycerine possess a unique combination of physical properties. 
Although chemical reactivity and versatility make glycerine one of the basic building blocks of the chemical industry, each year large volumes go into non-chemical uses. 
In these processes and products, glycerine's function-as a plasticizer, humectant, solvent, bodying agent, lubricant, etc.-is based on one or more of its physical properties, some of which properties are summarized in. 
Generally, no chemical combination should take place in such applications; thus, chemical stability is a prerequisite in the choice of a material to impart specific physical properties. 
Glycerine meets this requirement, for it is highly stable under ordinary conditions of storage and use, remaining free from objectionable color, odor or taste with the passage of time. 
Glycerine solutions subject to heat, however, should not be processed or stored in iron- or copper-containing vessels unless inhibitors are present, since iron and copper salts will catalyze oxidation of glycerine under such conditions. 

HYGROSCOPICITY, the ability to attract moisture from the air and hold it, is one of the most valuable properties of glycerine. 
It is the basis for its use as a humectant and as a conditioning agent in many applications where both the glycerine and the water it holds act as plasticizers. 
The net effect is to give products the desired softness, flexibility, creaminess, and shelf life. 
On exposure to air, glycerine at a given concentration gains or loses moisture until it reaches another concentration that is in equilibrium with the moisture (relative humidity) in the surrounding atmosphere. 
The equilibrium concentration is relatively independent of temperature change within normal atmospheric 

Properties of Glycerine 
Molecular Weight 92.09 
Specific Gravity (in air) 1.2636 (20°C); 1.2620 (25°C) 
Vapor Pressure 0.0025 mm (50°C) 
Boiling Point 290°C (760 mm) 
Boiling Points at Low Pressure: 152.0°C (5 mm) 166.1°C (10 mm) 181.3"C (20 mm) 190.9"C (30 mm) 198.0°C (40 mm) 
Melting Point 18.17"C Freezing Point (eutectic) (66.7% glycerol solution) -46.5"C 
Viscosity 1499 centipoises (20°C) 
Specific Heat 0.5795 cal pr gm deg (26'C) 
Refractive Index (NdZ0)1 .47399 
Flash Point (99% glycerol) 177°C 
Fire Point (99% glycerol) 204°C 
Auto lgnltion Point (on platinum) 523°C (on glass) 429°C 
Heat of Combustion 397.0 Kcal per mole Food-Energ Value 4.32 Kcal per gram Surface 'Ension 63.4 dynes cm (20°C) 58.6 dynes cm (90°C) 5 1.9 dynes cm ( 150°C) 
Sound Tkansmission 1923 rnlsec (20°C) 
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (Gravimetric) 0.00061 15 ( 15-25°C Temperature interval) 0.000610 (20-25°C Temperature interval) 
Thermal Conductivity 0.00069 1 cal cm deg/sec (0°C) 
Molar Heat of Solution 1381 cal 
Dissociation Constant 0.07 x 
Dielectric Constant 42.48 (25°C: current frequency =0.57X lo6 cycles sec) 
Specific Conductivity 5.6 X 10" reciprocal ohms (1 1.7"C) 
Compressibility 21.1 X 10" cc per atm pr cc (28.5"C) provided that a constant relative humidity is maintained. 

A number of determinations have been made of the relative humidity maintained over glycerine solutions

However, if glycerine is present as a thin film as it is when used to soften textile or paper fibers, equilibrium is reached within a few minutes.

LOW VOLATILITY or low vapor pressure allows for the permanency of glycerine in products. 
Low vapor pressure is closely allied to hygroscopicity in glycerine's effectiveness as a humectant. 
As is apparent in Figures 2 and 3, glycerine is practically nonvolatile at normal use temperatures. 
Moreover, between 0°C and 70°C. changes in temperature have little effect on the relative vapor pressure of glycerine solutions. 
In common with other alcohols, glycerine has a lower vapor pressure than might be expected from its molecular weight. 
The relatively low vapor pressure is characteristic of alcohols, water, and other polar compounds, and is the result of molecular association. 
Glycerine causes a greater reduction in the vapor pressure of water than can be accounted for by its molecular concentration, an effect that is attributable to the fonnation of hydrates.

The ability of glycerine to persist or "stay put" in products is particularly important when large areas are exposed for long periods of time. 
Such conditions can result in significant losses of relatively volatile humectants and occur most generally with films and fibers.

 A DIRECT PLASTICIZING EFFECT is produced in most applications for glycerine as a humectant-plasticizer because glycerine and water act together to promote softness and flexibility and to prevent drying out. 
These applications include promotes softness personal products such as cosmetic creams, lotions, capsules, and dentifrices, andflexibility edibles such as candy and cough drops, cigarette tobacco, and industrial materials such as cellophane, paper products, cork and gasket compounds, glues, textiles, and printing supplies. 
The plasticizing effect, however, is more than merely the result of glycerine's holding water. 
Even when conditions are such that little or no water is present, the glycerine itself may perform a direct plasticizing function. 
This action is in part a consequence of a combination of properties such as solvent power, low volatility, and noncrystallinity as well as hygroscopicity. 
It depends, too, on the molecular size and structure of glycerine relative to the molecular structure or space lattice of the material that is being treated. 
The lubricating action of glycerine on the materials can also be a factor. 

For these reasons, glycerine will frequently have a much greater conditioning effect on materials than equal concentrations of other compounds with similar hygroscopic characteristics, but with different molecular orientation. 

SOLVENT POWER and SOLUBILITY have caused glycerine to be regarded as one of the most valuable compounding ingredients for the formulator. 
Besides functioning as a suitable solvent for the active principles in a formulation, the easy compatibility of glycerine with many other substances affords the formulator a wide choice of ingredients. 
Because of its hydroxyl groups, glycerine has solubility characteristics similar to those of water and simple aliphatic alcohols. 
It is a good solvent for many industrial compounds, pharmaceutical preparations, and flavor extracts 
Many substances such as iodine, bromine, tannin, alkaloids, thymol, phenol, mercuric chloride, and boric acids are more soluble in glycerine than in water, and thus glycerine is used to prepare highly concentrated solutions of these materials. 
With vanillin and some similar materials, glycerine forms supersaturated solutions, thus making possible solutions of high concentrations.

Commonly used substances with which glycerine is completely miscible include methyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol. n-propyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, n-butyl alcohol, isobutyl alcohol, secondary butyl alcohol, tertiary amyl alcohol, ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, trimethylene glycol, and phenol. 
It is also completely miscible with ethylene glycol monomethyl ether. 
Glycerine's solubility in acetone is 5% by weight, and in ethyl acetate, 9%. 
It is only sparingly soluble in dioxane and ethyl either, and is practically insoluble in higher alcohols, fatty oils, and hydrocarbons and chlorinated solvents such as hexane, benzene and chloroform.

The miscibility of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons with glycerine is increased by introducing hydroxyl and amine groups into their structure, but is decreased by the introduction of alkyl groups. 
Heterocyclic compounds such as pyridine,'quinoline, piperidine, and alpha-picoline. which contain a nitrogen atom in the ring, are generally miscible with glycerine." 
Detailed studies of multi-component systems containing glycerine have been made over a long history of use in formulations. 
Micibility and solubility data for such systems as glycerine-tertiary amyl alcohol-water, glycerine-phenol-water, glycerine-alcohol-water, glycerine-sucrose-water and glycerine-benzene-ethyl 'alcohol have been published." 
The availability of such information greatly helps simplify the work of the chemist in incorporating glycerine in formulations. 

COMPATIBILITY, while not strictly a scientific concept is an important consideration for formulators who require assurance that an ingredient added to a mixture or solution for one purpose will not interfere with the stability or activity of the other constituents. 

In general, the ability to act together harmoniously with other thickener materials can be expected in a chemical like glycerine with its related properties of high solvent power, solubility, micibility, and stability. 
The-compatibility of glycerine with a wide range of other materials has been established through long use and empirical tests. 
Glycerine has been shown to be a highly compatible material, especially in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products which may incorporate many compounds of varying chemical structure and properties. 

Pure glycerine is stable to atmospheric oxygen under normal conditions of use or storage. 
However, at higher temperatures, oxidation may be promoted by iron and copper catalysts. 

For this reason, processing or storing glycerine solutions in iron- or copper-containing vessels without the use of inhibitors should be avoided. 

HIGH VISCOSITY is one of the most distinctive characteristics of glycerine. 
This quality is of value in a number of mechanical applications for glycerine such as a hydraulic fluid or a special lubricant, in laboratory studies of fluid flow phenomena and in viscosimeter calibrations, where aqueous solutions of glycerine are used as standards. 
But, by far, the most important commercial use for glycerine on the basis of its viscosity is as thickening or bodying agent for liquid preparations, syrups, emulsions, and gels. 
At normal temperatures, glycerine remains a viscous liquid up to 100% concentration. 
Thus, it is available for use over a wide range of viscosities without crystallization difficulties. 
Likewise, at low temperatures, concentrated glycerine sogtions tend to supercool as high-viscosity fluids. 

When glycerine supercools, its viscosity increases slowly at first, and then rapidly, until it becomes glassy at about - 89°C. 

Viscosities of various concentrations of glycerine in water at various temperatures are shown in 'Pable 111. 

In addition to these values, data on the viscosity of glycerine-alcohol-water solutions and of glycerine in combination with glucose, sugar solutions, and various salts are available in the literature.
The results of using glycerine for bodying action in a formulation may not always be proportional to the amount of glycerine added or to its viscosity in a pure state because the other ingredients present may also be exerting an influence. 
The effect of glycerine on the viscosity of a liquid cream, for example, is likely to be proportional to the amount added, and increases progressively with additions. 
But in the case of asemisolid cream, the addition of glycerine may increase body up to a certain concentration beyond which further additions result in a decrease in viscosity.

Glycerine is EASY-TO-USE. 
Glycerine is a liquid at high concentrations and at the temperatures generally encountered in storage and use. 
That undesirable crystallization which adversely affects the appearance of a product cannot occur with glycerine at room temperature. 
If, for example, glycerine is exposed on the threads of a bottle or cap even in a dry atmosphere, it will not become "gritty" like a crystallizing sugar. 
The freezing points of various concentrations of glycerine are shown in Figure 4. 

These values explain why pure glycerine, with a freezing point of approximately 18°C is seldom seen in the crystalline state. 
As is evident from these data, even the small amounts of water usually present in most formulations depress the freezing point of glycerine. 
A combination of two parts of glycerine to one part of water forms a eutectic mixture which freezes at - 46.5 C.

Because of such antifreeze properties, glycerine was the first permanent-type antifreeze for automobile radiator cooling systems. 
Although later replaced by ethylene glycol in this application, combinations of an alcohol or a glycol and glycerine are still employed for this purpose. 
Glycerine-water and glycerine-alcohol solutions, however, are used in some refrigeration systems and in quick freezing of foods. 
Here glycerine's virtual nontoxicity combines with its antifreeze properties to make it the coolant of choice. 
Since glycerine is a liquid, it is convenient to handle, which is another bonus quality of particular advantage to many industrial consumers who use glycerine in large quantities. 
In some applications, glycerine is easily pumped from the tank car to the storage tank, and from there metered to the reactor as required, compared to the' handling required when solid polyols are used. 

Glycerine also has an added advantage in that it can be measured either by volume or by weight. 
Therefore, systems using other liquid ingredient materials can stay entirely in the "liquid phase." 
The virtual NONTOXICITY of glycerine as an ingredient in foods and pharmaceuticals has been established through generations of safe use and by support- virtually nontoxic ing data. 
Glycerine occurs naturally in foods, both in a combined form as in fats and in a free state as in fermentation products like beer and wine. 
With a diet of 100 grams of fat per day, the human body would absorb and metabolize 10 grams of glycerine as glycerides. 
When metabolized, glycerine yields roughly the same caloric food value as glucose or starch.

Glycerine, i.e., glycerin, was initially accorded GRAS status (generally recognized as safe) as a miscellaneous substance by the U.S. Food and Drug AdministraGRAS substance tion (FDA) in 1959. 
Subsequently, in 1961, it was reclassified as a miscellaneous and general purpose food additive. 

Under a regulation FDA promulgated in 1977, it was reclassified and recodified as a multiple purpose GRAS food substance. 

Glycerine was also first listed as GRAS as a substance migrating to food from paper and paperboard products used in food packaging in a regulation published in 1961. 

Glycerine is currently listed as GRAS in the Code ofFederal Regulations (CFR) as a multiple purpose GRAS food substance (21CFR 182.1320) and as a substance migrating from paper and paperboard products: (21CFR 182.90) for use in certain food packaging materials.
The FDA proposed reaffirmation of glycerine as GRAS as a direct human food ingredient in February 1983 as part of a comprehensive review of human food ingredients classified as GRAS or subject to prior sanction." 
There has been no official FDA action with respect to the proposed reaffirmation of the GRAS status of glycerine since it was promulgated. 
The FDA review of the GRAS list is, by its very nature, a lengthy procedure and one that involves many food ingredients. 

Glycerine has demonstrated over many years that it is essentially nontoxic as an ingestive substance and thus, it apparently has not been accorded a high priority in the FDA GRAS review process. 
Glycerol is also virtually nontoxic to the environment, which is another plus factor with respect to ordinary plant operations and the kinds of problems usually associated with accidental spills. 
Its aquatic toxicity is insignificant. 
Glycerine's TLm96 value, or the concentration that will kill 50% of the exposed organisms in 96 hours, is over 1000 mg/L.Ie 
Glycerine may be used on every part of the epidermis, including mucous membranes. 
When diluted to a concentration below 50%, it acts as an emollient and demulcent, finding important applications in ointments and lotions. 

Preparations for the most sensitive areas of the body-antiseptic, vaginal, nasal, analgesic, dermatological, and burn ointments and jellies-are commonly made of watersoluble bases compounded with glycerine. 
Glycerine, too, is one of the most widely used ingredients in medical prescriptions. 
Only water may exceed glycerine in its range of applications. 
A predominantly sweet taste producing a pleasant sensation of warmth in the mouth is another of glycerine's assets. 
Studies have shown that it is from 55 to 75 percent as sweet as sucrose, with the relative sweetness depending on the sweet-tasting concentration tested.  

As a sweetening agent, glycerine makes many medicinal preparations palatable, which ordinarily would be unpleasant or less pleasant to swallow. 
In cough remedies, for example, it makes the mixture more pleasing to the taste while simultaneously soothing the mucous membranes. 
In such products as dentrifices and chewing gum, glycerine imparts a desirable degree of sweetness without clashing with the other flavor elements. 
Perfumes or flavors remain "true to type," with no fragrance or flavor change resulting from the presence of glycerine. 

It also tends to offset the harshness or bite of alcoholic (ethyl) content. 
Applications Food and Beverages properties in action In foods and beverages, glycerine functions as a humectant, solvent, sweetener, and preservative. 

It acts as a solvent for flavors and food colors in soft drinks and confections and as a humectant and softening agent in candy, cakes, and casings for meats and cheese. 
Glycerine is also used in dry pet foods to help retain moisture and enhance palatability. 
Another important, but indirect, use of glycerine in food processing is represented by rnonoglycerides, the glycerol esters of fatty acids, which are emulsifiers and stabilizers for many products. 
Edible monoglycerides help maintain moisture balance in a product and permit richer formulations with longer shelf life when added to margarine to increase plasticity and to dough mixes to promote dispersion of fat. 
Monoglycerides are also used in salad dressings, frozen desserts, candy, and food coatings. 
Drugs Glycerine is one of the most widely used ingredients in drugs and pharmaceuticals. 
It functions as a solvent, moistener, humectant, and bodying agent in tinctures, elixirs, ointments, and Capsules for medicinal use, which are plasticized with glycerine, are another important application. 
Other well known uses include suppositories, ear infection remedies, anesthetics, cough remedies, lozenges, gargles, and vehicles for antibiotics and antiseptics. 
Medically, glycerine serves as an emollient and demulcent in preparations used on the skin and as an osmotic diuretic to manage cerebral edema, reduce cerebrospinal pressure, and lower intraocular pressure.
A derivative, nitroglycerine, is a coronary vasodilator used to treat angina. 
In veterinary medicine, glycerine has been used as a source of glucose in bovine ketosis and nitroglycerine as a treatment for bronchial asthma in dogs.

Cosmetics and Toiletries
Glycerine is widely used in cosmetics and other toiletry applications, being virtually nontoxic, non-irritating, and odorless. 
It functions as a humectant and emollient. 
Glycerine is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. 
In cosmetics, glycerine is one of the most frequently used ingredients for its moisturising and emollient properties.
Glycerine is a major toothpaste ingredient, preventing drying out and hardening in the tube and around the cap threads or at the opening of the pumptype dispenser. 
Other uses include skin creams and lotions, shaving preparations, deodorants, and make up. 
Glycerol esters of fatty acids, an important class of glycerine derivatives, are utilized as emulsifiers in creams and lotions and as replacements for waxes in lipstick, in mascara, and in other non-greasy emulsions. 

Glycerine is an exceptionally good moisturising, emollient and protective agent.
Its ability to capture and retain water slows down the evaporation of water from the surface of the skin.
The skin is better hydrated, more supple and protected. Glycerine is also a humectant (wetting agent), which promotes scalp hydration, disciplines the hair and improves curl definition.

The Facts:

Glycerine has excellent affinity with water and is capable of absorbing 25% of its weight in water.
Numerous studies have proven its ability to diffuse and be stored in the upper layers of the skin.

A glycerine content of about 3% keeps tobacco moist and soft to prevent breaking and crumbling during processing and to ensure freshness in packaged cigarettes and other tobacco products. 
Sheet-formed cigar tobacco is plasticized with glycerine. 
It also adds flavor to chewing and pipe tobaccos. 
Triacetin (glycerol triacetate) acts as a plasticizer for cellulose acetate in the manufacture of cigarette filter-tips. 

Surface Coating Resins Alkyds are an important class of resins used in surface coatings. 
Glycerine, because of its chemical versatility and process advantages, is a standard component in the manufacture of these resins. 
Alkyd resins produced from glycerine may readily be modified to meet a wide range of coating applications and demanding conditions. 

Paper and Printing 
Glycerine is used in the manufacture of papers as a plasticizer/humectant and lubricant. 
In addition to the softening effect of retained moisture, it also reduces shrinkage. 
It is likewise useful with other ingredients in specialty treatments such as grease-proofing. 
Since many papers are used as food wrappers or in sanitary products, glycerine's essential nontoxicity, freedom from odor, and stability meet other important quality requirements. 
Glycerine also finds extensive use in ink manufacture, especially the alkyd resins which are an important constituent of many printing inks. 


Glycerine plays an important role in the lubricants used in many applications because of its stability over a broad range of temperatures and pressures. 
In addition, the virtually nontoxic character of glycerine makes it suitable for lubrication of food and other machinery where product purity is of paramount importance. 
Glycerine is a textile conditioning agent used widely in lubricating, sizing, and softening yarn and fabric. 
Its effectiveness in these and similar applications is due mainly to its viscosity and hygroscopicity. 
Glycerine is also successfully used to lubricate many kinds of fibers in spinning, twist setting, knitting and weaving operations. 

Rubber and Plastics 
Glycerine's main use in the rubber industry is for its lubricating action on rubber. 
In the plastics industry, glycerine is used as a plasticizer and lubricant. 

Urethane Polymers In this application, glycerine serves as the fundamental building block in polyethers for urethane foams. 
The flexible foams resulting from the processes utilizing glycerine have superior properties with respect to humid aging and resilience. 
Glycerine-based polyethers have also found some application in rigid foams and. particularly, in urethane coatings. 
Electrical and Electronics Glycerine is widely employed for the manufacture of electrolytes for electrolytic condensers used in radios and neon lights and in processes for electrodeposition and treatment of metals. 
Electronic applications are mostly of a proprietary nature. although one use in this field is associated with the production of computers. 
Nitration The nitration of glycerol to yield nitroglycerine is probably the most well-known application. 

Dynamite, as it is manufactured today, is a mixture based on an explosive compound, usually nitroglycerine, mixed with an absorbent, usually diatomaceous earth, in a proportion of about 3:l nitroglycerine to the abs~rbent.
Nitroglycerine is also used as a cardiovascular agent, functioning as a vasodilator in coronary spasm and as an antianginal agent.
It has also been used therapeutically for canine bronchial asthma. 
Other Uses There are many other applications for glycerine. 
These uses are small in volume and include such applications as photography, laboratory use, cell preservation, and gas drying among many others too numerous to list. 
Applications for some glycerine derivatives have also been discussed. 
It is worth noting that they include ethers, esters, acetates, and alcohol substitution products. 

New uses, many proprietary, for glycerine and its derivatives come under constant development as technology progresses. 
Producers of glycerine are excellent sources of information about applications for glycerine. 
They stand ready to provide technical assistance to formulators and others regarding current and new applications. 
Specifications describes product quality requirements stipulates analytical methods sources of standard specjfications Specifications are precise, written descriptions of the physical and chemical quality requirements of a particular grade or type of glycerine product and of the analytical methods to be used in determining product compliance with designated parameters. 
Specifications deal with product quality issues in various ways, depending upon the grade or kind of crude or refined glycerine being addressed and the kinds of materials that may be associated with it. 
Quality requirements may include parameters for glycerol content, specific gravity or relative density, characteristics of color, odor, and flavor, fatty acid and ester content, chlorinated compounds. chloride, sulfate, arsenic, heavy metals, ignition residue, and other aspects of the product as appropriate. 
Likewise, the specifications stipulate the analytical methods which are to be used in assaying each given requirement. 
The test methods may be incorporated in the specifications directly or by reference. 
Standard specifications for various grades of glycerine have been issued by some national standards institutions and professional and industry organizations. 
The organized, definitive character of standard specifications makes them very useful in commerce. 

Specifications involved in a commercial transaction are basically subject to agreement between buyer and seller. 
While standard specifications have proven very helpful commercially, the parties to a transaction sometimes prefer to develop their own criteria or adapt existing ones to their needs. 
In the United States, the specifications used in commerce include the requirements of the U.S. Pharmacopoeia (USP) monograph, Glycerin, and those of the Fbods Chemicals Codex, prepared by the National Academy of Science (National Academy Press, Third Edition, 1981). 
Also important are the specifications for reagent grade glycerine issued by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and those of the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association (CTFA) for glycerine in cosmetic and toiletry applications. 
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the General Services Administration (GSA) have both issued standard specifications for high gravity glycerine. 

In the international area, specifications for various grades of glycerine are available from national standards institutions and from national pharmacopoeias in the case of refined glycerine. 
Within the European Economic Community (EEC), the counterpart of USP glycerine is provided for by the glycerine specifications included in the European Pharmacopoeia 11 ( 1986). 

The European Pharmacopoeia is published in accordance with the Convention on the elaboration ofa European Pharmacopoeia, under the auspices of the Council of Europe (Partial Agreement) (European Peaty Series No. 50). 
It supercedes the national pharmacopoeias in the EEC member countries. 
Glycerine for use in foods within the EEC is governed by Directive 78/663/EEC, issued by the Council of Europe, which mandates the quality criteria for emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners, and gelling agents. 
The main source of information on European standard specifications for glycerine is the Association Europeenne des Producteurs d'Acides Gras (APAG), an international organization of 2 1 safety tips and in steam tracing of piping. 

Storage tanks may have insulated external steam coils or may have internal coils for circulation of low pressure steam or hot water. 
PIPING should be stainless steel, aluminum or galvanized iron. 
Valves and pumps should be all bronze, cast iron and bronze trim, or stainless steel. 
Piping should also be self-draining. The SIZE OF PUMPS for unloading process feed and circulating stored glycerine to maintain it at desired temperatures depends upon individual requirements. 

A 50-gpm pump will unload a tank car of warm glycerine in about four hours. 
Safety Long experience in research, development, and production has demonstrated that glycerine is one of the safest industrial chemical materials. 
Despite an enviable safety record, the only appropriate way to handle glycerine is in accordance with sound industrial, maintenance, and safety practices. 
Human Exposure Glycerine is essentially nontoxic by ingestion and harmless to the skin. 
In the event of eye contact the eye should immediately be rinsed gently with tepid (body temperature) water. 
However, accidents involving splash burns of hot liquor to the eye or skin should be treated by a physician.

Fire and Explosion 
Glycerine has a high flash point (350°F or 177°C at 99.0% glycerol concentration) and a fire point of glycerine of 400°F (204°C at 99.0% concentration). 

Fire hazard is low even when exposed to heat or flame, but glycerine is still combustible. 
Glycerine can react violently in contact with certain strong oxidizing agents CAWTON such as acetic anhydride. (aniline + nitrobenzene), calcium hypochlorite, chrostrong oxidizing mium peroxide, chromium trioxide, (F, + PbO), (HCIO, + PbO), potassium agents chlorate, potassium permanganate, potassium peroxide, silver perchlorate, and sodium hydride.
If glycerine catches fire, it should be treated with water, dry powder or carbon dioxide fog.
The toxic hazard from the products of combustion is slight, but use of a canister mask is suggested.
Environmental Glycerine has no harmful impact on the environment due to a massive release or spill. 
In water, it does not appear to have any effect other than an oxygen demand arising from biodegradation which occurs at a moderate rate.
Aquatic toxicity as measured by TLm96, defined as the concentration that will kill 50% of the exposed organisms in 96 hours, is over 1000 mg/L.27 a level which is insignificant.

Glycerine is used as a moisturizer to treat or prevent dry, rough, scaly, itchy skin and minor skin irritations (e.g., diaper rash, skin burns from radiation therapy). 
Emollients are substances that soften and moisturize the skin and decrease itching and flaking. 
Dry skin is caused by a loss of water in the upper layer of the skin. 
Humectants, including glycerin, lecithin, and propylene glycol, draw water into the outer layer of skin. 

Glycerine was traditionally a co-product of soap making, a process known as saponification. Historically it was of animal and fossil origin. 
Today we sell 100% vegetable glycerine. 
It is produced from vegetable oils such as rapeseed, sunflower or palm oil rich in fatty acids, using a process that complies with the principles of green chemistry*. 
It is biodegradable and renewable. 

*process using minimum energy and water and generating minimum waste

Glycerol is a triol with a structure of propane substituted at positions 1, 2 and 3 by hydroxy groups. 
It has a role as an osmolyte, a solvent, a detergent, a human metabolite, an algal metabolite, a Saccharomyces cerevisiae metabolite, an Escherichia coli metabolite and a mouse metabolite. It is an alditol and a triol.

Glycerine is a humectant, which is a substance that retains moisture. Humectants work by drawing moisture from the air and delivering it to the skin. Because of it’s moisturizing abilities, glycerine helps prevent wrinkles, breakouts, and improves the overall health of the skin.  

What does glycerine do to your body?
Performs as a natural moisturizer
Repairs damaged skin
Aids in repairing skin tissue and healing scars
Prevents wrinkles and fine lines
Treats skin infections
How can glycerine help relieve dry skin?
Glycerine’s moisturizing virtues make it a wonderful ingredient in skincare. It’s ability to retain  moisture in the skin helps those with especially dry or cracked skin.

What are some ways I can use glycerine? 
The ways in which glycerine can be used on the body doesn’t stop at just dry skin. Several other cosmetic benefits this liquid can be used to: 

Cleanse the face
Help relieve psoriasis and eczema
Help heal cracked heels and hands 
Help heal chapped lips
Help heal wounds due to its natural antiviral and bactericidal properties
Help with dandruff and dry, itchy scalp
Improve hair health

Glycerin is a neutral, sweet-tasting, colourless, thick liquid.  It is commonly used in the manufacture of clear soaps, lip balms, hand lotions, hair products, and moisturizing creams for its cleansing, emollient, humectant, and softening properties


Glycerin is a neutral, sweet-tasting, colourless, thick liquid.  It is commonly used in the manufacture of clear soaps, lip balms, hand lotions, hair products, and moisturizing creams for its cleansing, emollient, humectant, and softening properties.  Although conventional glycerin is associated with industrial processes, our glycerin is created from the natural process of saponification.  The oils we use in this process – Karanja or Mahawa oil ­­– are both sustainably and organically sourced and the final product is graded as suitable for therapeutic and food use.   By contrast, most conventionally-produced glycerin brokered on the open market is a by-product of industrial processes, may contain impurities, and is often from an untraceable source. 

Having a high quality, naturally-sourced glycerin is particularly important when used in body products because it is often used in formulations to treat wounds, burns, rashes, eczema or skin, and hair that is generally dry or damaged.  It can be further irritating to sensitive skin if the products used to try and solve the problem are actually from an impersonal, industrial process (most conventional glycerin is a byproduct from biodiesel manufacturing).  Our customers who want to use this versatile ingredient – whether in home-made lip balms, soaps or moisturisers, or even food use ­– can use our organic product with confidence that it is both ethically sourced and a pure, safe-to-use product. 

For food use, glycerin is an ingredient that can add sweetness and moisture.  It metabolises in a different way to sugar, does not contribute to tooth decay, and is suitable for creating lower carbohydrate foods. 

Our organic glycerin is ideal for those who like to make their own soaps and have control of what goes into them – whether for therapeutic needs or creative preference.  Making soap and natural beauty products have become popular cottage industries in recent years and having access to organic-grade ingredients helps to create truly luxurious merchandise.

Glycerin is also used as a solvent by herbalists who need an alternative to alcohol for extracting material from plants – to create herbal tinctures that are suitable for children, pets, and others for whom alcohol-free products are best.

Glycerin’s anti-bacterial quality and ability to cleanse and treat the skin without blocking pores also make it a popular ingredient in formulations for acne and oily skin.

Added to hair products, it is therapeutic for dry, brittle hair, restoring health and shine. 

Common uses: popular as an ingredient in toothpaste, cosmetics (including lipstick, lip-gloss, and eye-shadow), shampoos, lip balms, hand lotions, hair products, shaving products, and creams; herbal remedies; glycerin soaps and other household items; in formulations for dry and damaged skin.

Glycerin is a by-product of saponified, hydrolyzed or transesterified fats and oils. 
It was discovered in 1779 by the German-Swedish chemist and pharmacist Carl Wilhelm Scheele during the saponification of olive oil. 
The name of the liquid is derived from the Greek word glykys, "sweet."

Physically, glycerin is a water-soluble, colorless, odorless, clear and viscous liquid with a high boiling point. 
Chemically, glycerin is a trivalent alcohol that can be made to react and yet is stable under most conditions. 
Because of these unusual properties, its good compatibility with many other substances and its ease of processing, glycerin is used in many applications.

In 1854, the English entrepreneur, chemist and plant breeder George Fergusson Wilson developed a process to synthesize glycerin on an industrial scale. 
Today, it is generally refined by distillation after extraction in its raw state.

Glycerin, Glycerine or Glycerol?
All names are correct and trivial names for a substance that chemically correctly, according to UIPAC nomenclature, is called propane-1,2,3-triol. 
The most common name is glycerine. The name glycerol is also frequently used. 
It has the correct suffix "-ol" for an alcohol (the suffix "-in" stands for alkynes or amines). 
Glycerine is a sugar alcohol and the simplest trivalent alcohol, a so-called triol.

Depending on the application or labeling standard, other terms are used for glycerine: The correct molecular formula is C3H8O3. 
Its CAS number is 56-81-5, and in  the european food industry its designation is E 422. 
Glycerine is used here as an additive to improve consistency, flavor and preservation.

Glycerine (or glycerin, glycerol) is a triol or polyol compound. In its pure form glycerine is a colorless odorless, sweet tasting, viscous liquid. 
As an alcohol with three hydroxyl groups it is hydroscopic and soluble in water. Glycerine is a byproduct of three main processes: fat and oil splitting, fat and oil saponification, and biodiesel manufacturing.

The fats and oils used can be from animal or vegetable sources. Glycerine can be used as a solvent, sweetener or humectants. 
Product applications include pharmaceuticals, foods, personal care, tobacco, antifreeze, and agrochemicals.

ATAMAN CHEMICALS offers glycerine products in a variety of grades:

Private label
Tech grade
USP grade
Kosher certified 
Halal certified
RSPO certified
Mass balanced
Various purity grades (80% crude, 96%, 99.5%, 99.7%)

Typical applications includes:

Adhesives, coatings, elastomers and sealants: Flexible foam, surface coatings
Agriculture: Carrier, solvent, humectant, anti-freeze
Chemical manufacturing: Anti-freeze, initiator (EO/PO reactions)
Food: Humectant, sweetener, filler in cakes, candies, bars, meat/ cheese, casings, diet foods
Lubricants and metalworking: Lubricants additives & metalworking fluids
Oilfield: Drilling muds, shale stabilizer
Personal care: Humectant and emollient in skin care, hair care, color cosmetics
Pharmaceuticals: Excipients for gel caps, liquid medications, elixirs, expectorants

Glycerine cost and availability has been recently improved as a result of growth in the bio-diesel market. 
Mong, a by-product of bio-diesel can be filtered and processed in to fatty acids and glycerine.

Although water-glycerine mixtures are prone to biological contamination, blends using bio-glycerine in conjunction with other antifreeze chemicals can neutralise any bacterial and algae growth.

Neat Glycerine is more viscous than neat Propylene Glycol, but when it is mixed in the appropriate concentration with water and other antifreeze chemicals the thermal performance is better than Propylene Glycol. 

Glycerine (also called glycerol or glycerin) is a widely used simple polyol.

Glycerine has a wide variety of industrial applications such as freeze control and is used as an intermediate in the production of other chemicals including polyester polyols.

Typical Applications

Key component in electronic cigarette production.
Moisturiser in soap production and other personal hygiene products.
Ingredient in herbal remedies and homeopathic applications.
An excellent ingredient for fishing bait.
Used in Nurseries/Schools – When added to soapy water it helps to produce great big bubbles.
As a base for certain antifreeze preparations.

Glycerin is a type of carbohydrate called a sugar alcohol, or polyol.  
Glycerin contains slightly more calories per gram than sugar and is 60–75% as sweet.  
Glycerin occurs naturally in fermented foods and beverages, including beer, honey, vinegar, wine and wine vinegar. It is also commercially produced from fats and oils or through the fermentation of yeast, sugar or starch. 
Glycerin is used in a variety of food and drink products, including various beverages, nutrition and energy bars, cake icings, soft candies, chewing gum, condiments, creams, diet foods, dried fruits, fondant, fudge and marshmallows. 
Glycerin’s safety has been confirmed by multiple global health authorities, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  

Glycerol is generally obtained from plant and animal sources where it occurs in triglycerides, esters of glycerol with long-chain carboxylic acids . The hydrolysis, saponification, or transesterification of these triglycerides produces glycerol as well as the fatty acid derivative:

Triglycerides can be saponified with sodium hydroxide to give glycerol and fatty sodium salt or soap.

Typical plant sources include soybeans or palm. 

Glycerol from triglycerides is produced on a large scale, but the crude product is of variable quality, with a low selling price of as low as 2-5 U.S. cents per kilogram in 2011.
 It can be purified, but the process is expensive. Some glycerol is burned for energy, but its heat value is low.

Crude glycerol from the hydrolysis of triglycerides can be purified by treatment with activated carbon to remove organic impurities, alkali to remove unreacted glycerol esters, and ion exchange to remove salts. High purity glycerol (> 99.5%) is obtained by multi-step distillation; a vacuum chamber is necessary due to its high boiling point (290 °C).

Synthetic glycerol
Although usually not cost-effective, glycerol can be produced by various routes from propene. 
The epichlorohydrin process is the most important: it involves the chlorination of propylene to give allyl chloride, which is oxidized with hypochlorite to dichlorohydrins, which reacts with a strong base to give epichlorohydrin. 
This epichlorohydrin is then hydrolyzed to give glycerol. 
Chlorine-free processes from propylene include the synthesis of glycerol from acrolein and propylene oxide.

Synthetic routes to glycerol.png
Because of the large-scale production of biodiesel from fats, where glycerol is a waste product, the market for glycerol is depressed. 
Thus, synthetic processes are not economical. Owing to oversupply, efforts are being made to convert glycerol to synthetic precursors, such as acrolein and epichlorohydrin.

Food industry
In food and beverages, glycerol serves as a humectant, solvent, and sweetener, and may help preserve foods. 
It is also used as filler in commercially prepared low-fat foods (e.g., cookies), and as a thickening agent in liqueurs. 
Glycerol and water are used to preserve certain types of plant leaves.[15] As a sugar substitute, it has approximately 27 kilocalories per teaspoon (sugar has 20) and is 60% as sweet as sucrose. 
It does not feed the bacteria that form plaques and cause dental cavities.[citation needed] As a food additive, glycerol is labeled as E number E422. It is added to icing (frosting) to prevent it from setting too hard.

As used in foods, glycerol is categorized by the U.S. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as a carbohydrate. 
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carbohydrate designation includes all caloric macronutrients excluding protein and fat. 

Medical, pharmaceutical and personal care applications

A bottle of glycerin purchased at a pharmacy

Personal lubricants commonly contain glycerol

Glycerol is an ingredient in products such as hair gel

Glycerol suppositories used as laxatives
Glycerin is mildly antimicrobial and antiviral and is an FDA approved treatment for wounds. The Red Cross reports that an 85% solution of glycerin shows bactericidal and antiviral effects, and wounds treated with glycerin show reduced inflammation after roughly 2 hours. Due to this it is used widely in wound care products, including glycerin based hydrogel sheets for burns and other wound care. It is approved for all types of wound care except third degree burns, and is used to package donor skin used in skin grafts. There is no topical treatment approved for third degree burns, and so this limitation is not exclusive to glycerin.[17]

Glycerol is used in medical, pharmaceutical and personal care preparations, often as a means of improving smoothness, providing lubrication, and as a humectant.

Ichthyosis and xerosis have been relieved by the topical use of glycerin.
It is found in allergen immunotherapies, cough syrups, elixirs and expectorants, toothpaste, mouthwashes, skin care products, shaving cream, hair care products, soaps, and water-based personal lubricants. In solid dosage forms like tablets, glycerol is used as a tablet holding agent. For human consumption, glycerol is classified by the U.S. FDA among the sugar alcohols as a caloric macronutrient. Glycerol is also used in blood banking to preserve red blood cells prior to freezing.

Glycerol is a component of glycerin soap. Essential oils are added for fragrance.
This kind of soap is used by people with sensitive, easily irritated skin because it prevents skin dryness with its moisturizing properties. 
It draws moisture up through skin layers and slows or prevents excessive drying and evaporation.

Taken rectally, glycerol functions as a laxative by irritating the anal mucosa and inducing a hyperosmotic effect, expanding the colon by drawing water into it to induce peristalsis resulting in evacuation.[21] It may be administered undiluted either as a suppository or as a small-volume (2–10 ml) enema. Alternatively, it may be administered in a dilute solution, e.g., 5%, as a high volume enema.[22]

Taken orally (often mixed with fruit juice to reduce its sweet taste), glycerol can cause a rapid, temporary decrease in the internal pressure of the eye. 
This can be useful for the initial emergency treatment of severely elevated eye pressure.[23]

Glycerol has also been incorporated as a component of bio-ink formulations in the field of bioprinting.
The glycerol content acts to add viscosity to the bio-ink without adding large protein, carbohydrate, or glycoprotein molecules.

Botanical extracts
When utilized in "tincture" method extractions, specifically as a 10% solution, glycerol prevents tannins from precipitating in ethanol extracts of plants (tinctures). 
It is also used as an "alcohol-free" alternative to ethanol as a solvent in preparing herbal extractions. 
It is less extractive when utilized in a standard tincture methodology. 
Alcohol-based tinctures can also have the alcohol removed and replaced with glycerol for its preserving properties. 
Such products are not "alcohol-free" in a scientific or FDA regulatory sense, as glycerol contains three hydroxyl groups. 
Fluid extract manufacturers often extract herbs in hot water before adding glycerol to make glycerites.

When used as a primary "true" alcohol-free botanical extraction solvent in non-tincture based methodologies, glycerol has been shown to possess a high degree of extractive versatility for botanicals including removal of numerous constituents and complex compounds, with an extractive power that can rival that of alcohol and water–alcohol solutions.[27] That glycerol possesses such high extractive power assumes it is utilized with dynamic (i.e. critical) methodologies as opposed to standard passive "tincturing" methodologies that are better suited to alcohol. Glycerol possesses the intrinsic property of not denaturing or rendering a botanical's constituents inert like alcohols (i.e. ethyl (grain) alcohol, methyl (wood) alcohol, etc.) do. Glycerol is a stable preserving agent for botanical extracts that, when utilized in proper concentrations in an extraction solvent base, does not allow inverting or mitigates reduction-oxidation (REDOX) of a finished extract's constituents, even over several years.[citation needed] Both glycerol and ethanol are viable preserving agents. Glycerol is bacteriostatic in its action, and ethanol is bactericidal in its action.

Electronic cigarette liquid

Glycerin is often used in electronic cigarettes to create the vapor
Glycerin, along with propylene glycol, is a common component of e-liquid, a solution used with electronic vaporizers (electronic cigarettes). This glycerol is heated with an atomizer (a heating coil often made of Kanthal wire), producing the aerosol that delivers nicotine to the user.[31]

Main article: Antifreeze
Like ethylene glycol and propylene glycol, glycerol is a non-ionic kosmotrope that forms strong hydrogen bonds with water molecules, competing with water-water hydrogen bonds. 
This interaction disrupts the formation of ice. The minimum freezing point temperature is about −36 °F (−38 °C) corresponding to 70% glycerol in water.

Glycerol was historically used as an anti-freeze for automotive applications before being replaced by ethylene glycol, which has a lower freezing point. 
While the minimum freezing point of a glycerol-water mixture is higher than an ethylene glycol-water mixture, glycerol is not toxic and is being re-examined for use in automotive applications.[32][33]

In the laboratory, glycerol is a common component of solvents for enzymatic reagents stored at temperatures below 0 °C due to the depression of the freezing temperature. It is also used as a cryoprotectant where the glycerol is dissolved in water to reduce damage by ice crystals to laboratory organisms that are stored in frozen solutions, such as fungi, bacteria, nematodes, and mammalian embryos.

Chemical intermediate
Glycerol is used to produce nitroglycerin, which is an essential ingredient of various explosives such as dynamite, gelignite, and propellants like cordite. Reliance on soap-making to supply co-product glycerol made it difficult to increase production to meet wartime demand. Hence, synthetic glycerol processes were national defense priorities in the days leading up to World War II. Nitroglycerin, also known as glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) is commonly used to relieve angina pectoris, taken in the form of sub-lingual tablets, or as an aerosol spray.

An oxidation of glycerol affords mesoxalic acid.[34] Dehydrating glycerol affords hydroxyacetone.

Vibration damping
Glycerol is used as fill for pressure gauges to damp vibration. External vibrations, from compressors, engines, pumps, etc., produce harmonic vibrations within Bourdon gauges that can cause the needle to move excessively, giving inaccurate readings. The excessive swinging of the needle can also damage internal gears or other components, causing premature wear. Glycerol, when poured into a gauge to replace the air space, reduces the harmonic vibrations that are transmitted to the needle, increasing the lifetime and reliability of the gauge.[35]

Niche uses
Film industry
Glycerol is used by the film industry when filming scenes involving water to stop areas from drying out too quickly.

Glycerine is used—combined with water (around in a 1:99 proportion)—to create a smooth smoky environment. The solution is vaporized and pushed into the room with a ventilator.

Ultrasonic couplant
Glycerol can be sometimes used as replacement for water in ultrasonic testing, as it has favourably higher acoustic impedance (2.42MRayl vs 1.483MRayl for water) while being relatively safe, non-toxic, non-corrosive and relatively low cost.[37]

Internal combustion fuel
Glycerol is also used to power diesel generators supplying electricity for the FIA Formula E series of electric race cars.

Research on uses
Research has been conducted to produce value-added products from glycerol obtained from biodiesel production.Examples (aside from combustion of waste glycerol):

Hydrogen gas production
Glycerine acetate is a potential fuel additive.
Glycerol is one of the most used additive for starch thermoplastic.
Conversion to propylene glycol
Conversion to acrolein
Conversion to ethanol
Conversion to epichlorohydrin, a raw material for epoxy resins

Glycerol is a precursor for synthesis of triacylglycerols and of phospholipids in the liver and adipose tissue. When the body uses stored fat as a source of energy, glycerol and fatty acids are released into the bloodstream.

Glycerol is mainly metabolized in the liver. Glycerol injections can be used as a simple test for liver damage, as its rate of absorption by the liver is considered an accurate measure of liver health. Glycerol metabolism is reduced in both cirrhosis and fatty liver disease.[49][50]

Blood glycerol levels are highly elevated during diabetes, and is believed to be the cause of reduced fertility in patients who suffer from diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Blood glycerol levels in diabetic patients average three times higher than healthy controls. Direct glycerol treatment of testes has been found to cause significant long-term reduction in sperm count. Further testing on this subject was abandoned due to the unexpected results, as this was not the goal of the experiment.[51]

Circulating glycerol does not glycate proteins as do glucose or fructose, and does not lead to the formation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs). In some[which?] organisms, the glycerol component can enter the glycolysis pathway directly and, thus, provide energy for cellular metabolism (or, potentially, be converted to glucose through gluconeogenesis).

Before glycerol can enter the pathway of glycolysis or gluconeogenesis (depending on physiological conditions), it must be converted to their intermediate glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate in the following steps:


The enzyme glycerol kinase is present mainly in the liver and kidneys, but also in other body tissues, including muscle and brain.
In adipose tissue, glycerol 3-phosphate is obtained from dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP) with the enzyme glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase.

Glycerol has very low toxicity when ingested; its LD50 oral dose for rats is 12600 mg/kg and 8700 mg/kg for mice. 
It does not appear to cause toxicity when inhaled, although changes in cell maturity occurred in small sections of lung in animals under the highest dose measured.
 A sub-chronic 90-day nose-only inhalation study in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats exposed to 0.03, 0.16 and 0.66 mg/L glycerin (Per liter of air) for 6-hour continuous sessions revealed no treatment-related toxicity other than minimal metaplasia of the epithelium lining at the base of the epiglottis in rats exposed to 0.66 mg/L glycerin.[55][56]

Historical cases of contamination with diethylene glycol
On 4 May 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration advised all US makers of medicines to test all batches of glycerol for the toxic diethylene glycol.
This followed an occurrence of hundreds of fatal poisonings in Panama resulting from a falsified import customs declaration by Panamanian import/export firm Aduanas Javier de Gracia Express, S. A. The cheaper diethylene glycol was relabeled as the more expensive glycerol.[58][59] Between 1990 and 1998, incidents of DEG poisoning reportedly occurred in Argentina, Bangladesh, India, and Nigeria, and resulted in hundreds of deaths. In 1937, more than one hundred people died in the United States after ingesting DEG-contaminated elixir sulfanilamide, a drug used to treat infections.[60]

The origin of the gly- and glu- prefixes for glycols and sugars is from Greek γλυκύς glukus which means sweet.[61]

In products such as moisturizer creams, glycerol helps to bring moisture to the surface of the skin, to help skin smooth. It is also added to hair conditioner, shaving creams and eye drops for the same purpose.

In over-the-counter skin care products, such as moisturizers, glycerol is added to help protect the skin from irritants. 

This is also why glycerol is added to cough syrups – to help prevent irritation in throats which leads to coughing.

Glycerol Definition
Glycerol is a colorless, odorless liquid with a sweet taste. It is viscous at room temperature and non-toxic in low concentrations. Glycerol was discovered in 1779. It is also called glycyl alcohol, glycerin or glycerine in some literature.

Glycerol is seen in biological systems as an intermediate in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism because surplus carbohydrate can be converted into long chain fatty acids and esterified with the three hydroxyl groups. Glycerol can influence immune reactions in the body through histamines, increased antibody production and by enhancing immune cell activity and is therefore classified as an allergen. In the blood, glycerol can increase blood pressure by preferentially attracting the water from tissues into plasma and lymph. In nephrons, glycerol can increase urine volume by preventing water resorption.

History of Glycerol
Glycerol was accidentally discovered by a Swedish scientist named K. W. Scheele. He was investigating the similarities between soap and a drying plaster called Emplastrum simplex. The salve was made of lead salts of fatty acids, while soap is made of sodium salts of organic acids. During his experiments of reacting olive oil with lead monoxide, he discovered a water-soluble substance with a sweet taste. This was the first recorded chemical isolation of glycerol and was initially called the ‘sweet principle of fat’. Scheele analyzed the substance and found it to be distinct from the other sugars known at the time. Glycerol did not crystallize, ferment, and showed greater heat resistance than most other sugars. He also investigated the difference between glycerol and cane sugar, especially in the proportion of oxygen (or phlogiston as it was then called) it contained. Scheele demonstrated that it took a greater amount of nitric acid to oxidize glycerol than cane sugar. It also did not release an alkali when it was reacted with ethanol. While it could not be easily crystallized, it could be distilled. It also decomposed at higher temperatures.

In 1836, the chemical formula of glycerol was elucidated by a French scientist called Pelouze. He proposed an empirical formula of C3H8O3. Fifty years later, the structural formula of C3H5(OH)3 was accepted, based on the work of two scientists named Berthelot and Lucea.

The relevance of glycerol as a commercially important chemical is linked to its use in the production of dynamite. Alfred Nobel, who later instituted the Nobel Prizes, discovered a method for the reliable stabilization, transport and handling of trinitroglycerin, which is the central explosive compound in dynamite. Glycerol, therefore, was involved in the rapid extraction of mineral ore, as well as many large-scale infrastructure projects that needed natural structures to be blasted away.

Properties of Glycerol
Pure glycerol has a melting point of 17.8°C. Its boiling point is 290°C but it also decomposes at that temperature. The presence of three hydroxyl groups makes the compound hygroscopic, with a tendency to absorb moisture from the air. This also makes it useful as a humectant in cosmetics and food, retaining water and preventing the substance from drying out.

Glycerol is easily soluble in water, due to the ability of the polyol groups to form hydrogen bonds with water molecules. Glycerol is slightly denser than water with a specific gravity of 1.26. This means that when glycerol is poured into a container of water, it will sink to the bottom. However, due to its solubility, over time and with mild agitation, glycerol will form an aqueous solution.

Glycerol can cause mild irritation to the eyes, nose, lungs and skin, particularly due to its hygroscopic nature. Skin and other internal organs can get dried out when pure glycerol comes into contact with these moist tissues. Since the molecule can bind to water, the same property that makes glycerol a good humectant also desiccates internal tissues. On the other hand, if a cosmetic preparation with high water content is applied on the skin, especially in arid environments, the presence of glycerol can prevent the lotion, cream or gel from drying out quickly.

The three hydroxyl groups of glycerol allow reactions with many organic acids to form esters. When all three reactive groups are esterified with long chain organic fatty acids, a triglyceride is formed. Triglycerides are among the most common lipids in the human body.

Uses of Glycerol
Glycerol is used in a number of industrial applications, in the pharmaceutical industry, in cosmetics and personal care products, in the production of resins, detergents, plastics and tobacco and as a humectant in food.

Its use as a commercially important chemical began with its application in the production of dynamite. Dynamite was necessary in the discovery and extraction of underground minerals, and in the construction of infrastructure. Therefore, it propelled industrial development.

Cosmetics and Food
Glycerol is used in the cosmetics industry as a moisture-control reagent and to enhance the texture of lotions and creams. Glycerol’s ability to retain moisture and its emollient properties make it an attractive ingredient in many moisturizing formulations. Glycerol can also prevent the cosmetic from either drying out or freezing.

In food, the utility of glycerol arises from its ability to form inter-molecular hydrogen bonds, especially with water molecules. This increases the water content in preserved food, without compromising on shelf life, and also enhances viscosity and texture. Its low toxicity and lack of a disagreeable odor or flavor allow the use of glycerol as an emulsifier.

Industrial Applications
Crude glycerin is a byproduct of the production of biofuels from soya bean oil and other vegetable oils. It contains over 60% impurities in the form of methanol, soaps and salts, making it difficult to extract pure glycerin. Recent advances in technology allow the use of crude glycerin to make urethane foams. Polyurethane foams have a variety of applications in the construction and automotive industries. They are also commonly used as insulators.

Pure glycerol is a crucial part of the industrial production of antifreeze, textiles and waxes. It is used in large quantities to generate resins, paints and waxes, for creating cleaning and purifying agents for soldering, and in the manufacture of many textiles and cosmetics.

Glycerol usage in the pharmaceutical industry is to improve smoothness and taste. It is used in the creation of tablets so that they are easy to swallow. The coating can disintegrate within the body. Cough lozenges often use glycerol to give a sweet taste. Suppositories of glycerol can act as laxatives since they can irritate anal mucosa.

Production of Triacetin
Triacetin is a triple ester of glycerol, formed through an esterifying reaction with acetic acid. It has a variety of uses in the food industry as a plasticizing agent, to enhance the viscosity of a product. It can also act as a stabilizer for food products that need to be preserved for extended periods of time.

Triacetin is used as an antiknock reagent in fuels for internal combustion engines. It is also an additive in cigarettes.

Glycerol Structure
Glycerol is a trihydroxy sugar alcohol with three carbon atoms and three hydroxyl groups. The presence of multiple hydroxyl groups and carbon atoms makes it an organic polyol compound with the IUPAC name of 1, 2, 3 – Propanetriol.

1,2,3-Propanetriol [ACD/Index Name]
200-289-5 [EINECS]
203-809-9 [EINECS]
56-81-5 [RN]
635685 [Beilstein]
8043-29-6 [RN]
Bulbold [Trade name]
Cristal [Trade name]
Glicerol [Spanish] [INN]
Glyceol [Trade name]
glycerin [ACD/IUPAC Name] [JAN] [JP15] [USP] [Wiki]
Glycerin [German] [ACD/IUPAC Name]
glycerine [Wiki]
Glycerol [INN] [ACD/IUPAC Name] [Wiki]
glycérol [French] [INN] [ACD/IUPAC Name]
glycerolum [Latin] [INN]
MFCD00004722 [MDL number]
Ophthalgan [Trade name]
غليسيرول [Arabic] [INN]
Mackstat H 66
1,2,3-Propanetriol, Glycerine
1,2,3-Propanetriol, Trihydroxylpropane, Protol, Glycerin
101662-08-2 [RN]
102088-01-7 [RN]
107283-02-3 [RN]
144086-02-2 [RN]
144086-03-3 [RN]
153050-05-6 [RN]
175385-78-1 [RN]
18803-09-3 [RN]
1H-Thieno[3,4-d]iMidazole-4-pentanaMide, hexahydro-2-oxo-N-[6-oxo-6-(2-propenylaMino)hexyl]-, (3aS,4
25618-55-7 [RN]
29796-42-7 [RN]
2-Propenoic acid, polymer with 2,2-bis(hydroxymethyl)-1,3-propanediol, methyloxirane and oxirane
2-Propenoic acid, polymer with oxirane and 1,2,3-propanetriol
30049-52-6 [RN]
30918-77-5 [RN]
37228-54-9 [RN]
5034-70-8 [RN]
614-33-5 [RN]
62502-71-0 [RN]
63346-81-6 [RN]
64333-26-2 [RN]
7325-16-8 [RN]
7325-17-9 [RN]
75398-78-6 [RN]
76550-75-9 [RN]
78630-16-7 [RN]
8013-25-0 [RN]
Aci-Jel [Trade name]
Citifluor AF 2
emergy 916
Emery 912
Glycerin, 1
Glycerin, 1,2,3-Propanetriol, Trihydroxylpropane, Protol
Glycerol 85%
Glycerol anhydrous cell culture grade
Glycerol, Molecular Biology Grade - CAS 56-81-5 - Calbiochem
glycyl alcohol
heterochromatin-specific nonhistone chromosomal protein HP-1
OmniPur Glycerol - CAS 56-81-5 - Calbiochem
Sugar alcohol
Tegin M
Trihydroxylpropane, Protol
Unigly G 2
Unigly G 6
β-propylene glycol

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