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Possible Applications For Glycerol As An Important Organic Chemical

     Glycerol is a water absorbent fluid also known as glycerin or glycerine, however glycerol is the term used when it is discussed in a biological setting or when it is referring to the pure chemical form. The terms glycerin and glycerine pertain to the commercial type of the chemical.

Glycerol is a sweet tasting, syrupy, colorless to yellowish liquid which can be completely dissolved in water. In simple terms, it is a mixture of sugar and alcohol, and a byproduct of saponification or the process of making soaps.

Glycerol is the simplest trihydric acid in the alcohol family of organic chemical, containing three hydroxyl groups. Due to this property, it can form three different types of esters – monoglycerides, diglycerides, and triglycerides. It can be found in all fats and oils from plants and animals. It also plays an important role in several chemical processes within the body, both as a reactant and as a product.

Due to its properties, glycerol has many uses in nearly every industry. In the last few years, the production of glycerine has increased tremendously which have resulted to a reduction in its price. Some of its earlier uses have not been exploited since there were other available substances that later replaced it. Nevertheless with the decrease in the production cost of glycerine, its former importance in many industrial applications can be reinstated. New research and scientific development have also provided innovative applications for glycerine from uses in cosmetics to pharmaceuticals to technical applications.

One of these applications is in maintaining texture and moisture, regulate water activity, and lengthen shelf life in baked goods. This is very important for these types of product; otherwise they can easily lose their commercial appeal to the consumer. It is added as a moistening agent as well as preservative to prolong shelf life. It is also added to candies and other sweets to prevent crystallization. Its hygroscopic property is also essential in the cosmetics industry where it is valuable as a moistener.

Glycerol is made to react with phthalic acid to produce alkyd resins which in turn is used in the manufacture of paints and coatings but it was later replaced by pentaerythritol and propylene glycol. It has also been used in food production and in the tobacco markets until sorbitol substituted its use. Today it becomes more practical to reintroduce glycerin into these industries.

Polyols which are used extensively as sugar free sweeteners are now gradually being replaced by glycerin since it is about 60% as sweet as table sugar. Polyols including sorbitol, mannitol, and maltitol are used in oral care, food and confectionery, medicinal and pharmaceutical as well as in industrial applications.

This organic substance is employed in the manufacture of many tinctures, cough medicines, and anesthetics. In the form of iodinated glycerol, it is a fairly effective medicine formulated to loosen mucous and phlegm in the lungs and other affected breathing passages. It is used as a protective freezing method for red blood cells, sperm and other tissues. It also serves as the basic medium for toothpaste production.

With the increase in the production and the consequent decrease in price of glycerol, there is the apparent reintroduction of this substance into many applications. It is used in many industries because of its property as an emulsifier, stabilizer, plasticizer, moistening agent, softening agent, solvent, sweetener, and other numerous uses, thereby making glycerol quite indispensable.

Continued research and innovation for new uses of glycerin is important not only in keeping the industry of glycerin production alive and thriving, but as a consequence, to all other industries which utilize glycerol in its processes. Glycerine is such a versatile organic chemical and its potentials are innumerable.

Article Source:

Jo is a content writer for ‘ReAgent Chemical Services Ltd’ (, an established UK stationed chemical firm that creates, stocks and supplies an enormous range of premium chemicals. If your corporation is looking for superior quality chemical product such as”>Glycerol or has other industrial chemical requirements then check out ReAgent Chemical Services Ltd.

Posted on 2009-06-17, By: *

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