/glis"euh rawl', -rol'/, n.a colorless, odorless, syrupy, sweet liquid, C3H8O3, usually obtained by the saponification of natural fats and oils: used for sweetening and preserving food, in the manufacture of cosmetics, perfumes, inks, and certain glues and cements, as a solvent and automobile antifreeze, and in medicine in suppositories and skin emollients. Also called glycerin, glycerine.[1880-85; GLYCER(IN) + -OL1]
* * *or glycerinClear, colourless, viscous, sweet-tasting liquid organic compound of the alcohol family, chemical formula HOCH2CHOHCH2OH. With three hydroxyl (―OH) groups, it can form three types of esters (monoglycerides, diglycerides, and triglycerides).Mono-and diglycerides are common food additives. Fats and oils are triglycerides; their processing into soap was the chief source of glycerol until the mid-20th century, when industrial synthesis took over. Glycerol has thousands of uses, including as an emulsifier, softening agent, plasticizer, and stabilizer in baked goods, ice cream, and tobacco; in skin lotions, mouthwashes, and cough medicines; as a protective medium for freezing red blood cells, sperm, corneas, and other tissues; in printing inks and in the gums and resins in paints and coatings; in antifreeze mixtures; as a nutrient in fermentation; and as a raw material for nitroglycerin.
* * *a clear, colourless, viscous, sweet-tasting liquid belonging to the alcohol family of organic compounds; molecular formula HOCH2CHOHCH2OH. Until 1948 all glycerol was obtained as a by-product in making soaps from animal and vegetable fats and oils, but industrial syntheses based on propylene or sugar has accounted for an increasingly large percentage of U.S. production since that time. The term glycerin is ordinarily applied to commercial materials containing more than 95 percent glycerol.Glycerol has thousands of uses. It is a basic ingredient in the gums and resins used to make many modern protective coatings such as automotive enamels and exterior house paints. Glycerin reacted with nitric and sulfuric acid forms the explosive nitroglycerin. It is also a component of mono- and diglyceride emulsifiers, which are used as softening agents in baked goods, plasticizers in shortening, and stabilizers in ice cream. Its varied uses in the pharmaceutical and toilet goods fields include skin lotions, mouthwashes, cough medicines, drug solvents, serums, vaccines, and suppositories. Another significant use is as a protective medium for freezing red blood cells, sperm cells, eye corneas, and other living tissues. At one time, its largest single use was as automotive antifreeze; methanol and ethylene glycol have replaced it for this purpose.Fats and oils are valued chiefly as sources of the carboxylic acids that are present, combined in the form of esters with glycerol. When the acids are set free from these compounds, glycerol remains as a solution in water and is purified by coagulating and settling extraneous matter, evaporating the water, and distilling.
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