GLYCEROL - (56-81-5)


Name: glycerol; propan-1,2,3-triol*; glycerine; glycerin
CAS Number: 56-81-5
Chemical Formula: C3H8O3 or C3H5(OH)3
Molar Mass: 92.09382 g
State of Matter: clear, colorless liquid
Mass Percent: C 39.125 %; H 8.7557 %; O 52.118 % 



• "Large quantities are consumed in the manufacture of nitroglycerine, cosmetics, and medicinal preparations. It is also used in the manufacture of printer's rollers and of inks for use in rubber stamps. The hygroscopic properties of glycerine cause it to be used in keeping tobacco moist, and to keep leather soft." 1

• "The most common use for glycerol in the United States is in food products, where it acts as a sweetener and as a thickener in many foods. For example, it is added to ice cream to improve texture and to candy products and baked goods to increase the sweetness of the product. It is also used to make flexible coatings on cheeses, sausages, and other meat products. About one-quarter of all glycerol made in the United States is used in the food products industry.

Nearly the same amount of glycerol is used in the preparation of personal care products, such as skin, hair, and soap products (23 percent) and in oral hygiene products, such as toothpastes and mouthwashes (17 percent). Some of the products that include glycerol are moisturizers, detergents, soaps, hair coloring agents, mascara, nail polish removers, perfumes, body lotions, hair sprays, shaving creams, lipsticks, cough medicines, shampoos, and hair conditioners. Glycerol is also used as a humectantin tobaccos. A humectant is a material that helps the product conserve moisture and prevent it from drying out.

Other uses for glycerol include:
*In the manufacture of explosives;
*In the production of a variety of plastics and polymers, such as polyetherpolyols, urethanes, and alkyd resins;
*As a lubricant in pumps, bearings, gaskets, and other mechanical systems;
*In the manufacture of ink rolls, inks, and rubber stamps;
*As an emulsifying agent, a material that helps two liquids that are no soluble in each other to stay moxed;
*As an antifreeze; and
*In a number of medical applications, such as the treatment of glaucoma and stroke." 2

• " a syrupy liquid used in cosmetics, as a sweetener, in glue, and in many other consumer products." 3


Double Bonds: 0
Triple Bonds: 0
Sigma Bonds: 13
Pi Bonds: 0
Total: 13
Carboxyl Groups: 0
Hydroxyl Groups: 3

For More Information


(1) - Brownlee, Raymond B., Fuller, Robert W., and Whitsit, Jesse E. Elements of Chemistry; Allyn and Bacon: Boston, Massachusetts, 1959; p 328.
(2) - Schlager, Neil, Weisblatt, Jayne, Newton, David E., and Montney, Charles B. Chemical Compounds Vol. 2; Thomson-Gale: Detroit, MI, 2006; pp 350-351.
(3) - Kotz, John C. and Purcell, Keith F. Chemlstry and Chemlcal Reactivity, 2nd ed.; CBS College Publishing: New York. NY, 1987; p 98.