Uses of Glycerol

Glycerol, also known as glycerin and glycerine, is a chemical compound that is widely used in the treatment of burns and wounds. This compound is a colourless and odourless liquid which is viscous in nature. The chemical formula of this compound is C3H8O3. Some important applications of glycerol are listed in this article.

Applications of Glycerol in the Food Industry

In the food industry, glycerol is widely used as a humectant. It is also known to be employed as a solvent and as a sweetening agent in several foods and beverages. Furthermore, this compound is known to be used as a filler in commercially available low-fat foods such as cookies. It can also be noted that glycerol is sometimes employed as a thickening agent in the preparation of certain liqueurs. A mixture of water and glycerol can be employed for the preservation of the leaves of certain plants.

Applications of Glycerol in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Owing to its antiviral and antimicrobial properties, glycerol can be employed for the treatment of wounds and certain types of burns. It has also been suggested that the treatment of wounds with an 86% solution of glycerol may help reduce the inflammation in the wounded area. However, it is important to note that glycerol must not be used for the treatment of third degree burns. It can also be noted that glycerol is used as a component in the preparation of many medical and pharmaceutical products. Furthermore, this compound is also employed in the preparation of many personal care products (owing to its antimicrobial nature) such as shaving cream, toothpastes, mouthwashes, soaps, skin care products, and hair care products.

This compound is also used in cough syrups, allergen immunotherapies, and elixirs. Another important application of glycerol is in blood banks, where the compound is employed for the preservation of red blood cells (often abbreviated to RBCs) before they are frozen for storage. This compound is also the core component of glycerin soap.

Other Niche Uses of Glycerol

Glycerol is a commercially important chemical compound whose applications span over a wide range of industries. Some of the important niche uses of glycerol are listed below.

  • Glycerol is widely used in the film industry during the filming of scenes that involve water. In such situations, glycerol helps stop the areas from rapidly drying out.
  • Some diesel generators are known to be powered by glycerol.
  • In the process of ultrasonic testing, glycerol is known to be used (sometimes) as an alternative to water owing to its higher and more favourable acoustic impedance.
  • Glycerol is widely used as a raw material in the production of nitroglycerin.

To learn more about the important applications of glycerol and the uses of other commercially important chemical compounds, such as the uses of methanol and ethanol, register with BYJU’S and download the mobile application on your smartphone.

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