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CAS: 56-81-5

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 with a molecular formula C3H8O3 , CAS: 56-81-5. Glycerol has three hydroxyl groups that are responsible for its hygroscopic nature and its solubility in water and polar solvents nature.



Glycerol is generally obtained from plant and animal sources where it occurs as triglycerides.  Triglycerides are 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:

Typical plant sources include soybeans or palm. Animal-derived tallow is another source.

Glycerine is a by-product of transesterification of vegetal oil during vegetal oil methylic ester production used as fuel named “biofuel”.


It is widely used in the food industry as a sweetener and humectant and in pharmaceutical formulations.