Glycerin is a very commonly used product that many people forget aboiut. But it has a lot of uses in every day life, and knowing more about Glycerin, how it came to be, uses, and cautions might just help you out and make your life easier.
Origins of Glycerin
Glycerin is a viscous liquid with a sweet taste found naturally in fats and oils. It is the primary triglyceride found in olive and in coconut oil. Did you know that Glycerin was first called “Glycerol?” The word glycerol from French glycérine, coined by French chemist Michel-Eugène Chevreul, from glykos – meaning “sweet” in Greek. and that it was discovered at the end of the 18th century? In 1779, a chemist in Sweden, Carl Wilhelm Scheele washed it out of a heated mixture while experimenting with lead oxide and olive oil.
Glycerin consumers will want to know how it is made. The typical method used to make glycerine is the process called sapinification. When a fat is hydrolyzed it has been introduced to the presence of a catalyst, it is then converted into a glycerol and alcohols from which it was originally made. This type of hydrolysis is called saponification. This is the usual method by which soaps are made. The Latin word for “soap” is sapon. Glycerin can be obtained, then, as a byproduct in the manufacture of the process used to make most common soaps. If you make soap using the saponification method you also make a small amount of glycerin during the process.
In additon to simple saponification, there are many other ways to make glycerin. These other processes usually begin with propylene (propene; CH2=CHCH3) and chlorine and involve steps that then convert the three-carbon propylene to the three-carbon glycerol. Glycerin is also manufactured by treating simple sugars with hydrogen over a nickel catalyst.
In the US about 80 percent of all glycerin made is obtained by saponification methods, and the remaining 20 percent is made by other synthetic methods.
Uses of Glycerin
Glycerin is used in so many processes and in so many applications. Here is a quick list
Ways that Gycerin is used:
- Manufacturing of ink rolls, inks, and rubber stamps;
- Producing of a wide variety of polymers and plastics like polyether polyols, urethanes, and alkyd resins;
- As a lubricant in pumps, bearings, gaskets, and other mechanical systems;
- Manufacturing of explosives;
- It is an emulsifier, a material that helps two unlike liquids, that are not soluble, to stay mixed;
- As antifreeze
- It is used in syrups and other food ingredients too.
- Used in toothpaste
Since Glycerin is so readily available, and is safe to use in so many ways, it is often found, as noted above, in many food ingredients. It is often used in food ingredients like flavorings and syrups and even ice cream. It is often added to ice cream to improve texture, plus the sweet taste is an added bonus since the amount of sugar needed can be lessened.
Some toothpastes contain glycerin. It not only adds some smoothness, but an extra benefit is that glycerin can add “shine” to the teeth too.
Another unique way some food manufacturers take advantage of this easy to use, safe product is to help woth texture and feel in foods. Some cereal manfucturers and makers of snack foods use it to help raisins stay soft.
A few other uses in foods and other consubales include the use of glycerin to keep tobacco soft. It also adds some sweetness to tobacco products. You may also find glcycerin used in castings that are used to make sandwich and lunch meats too.
Under some situations, glycerin may pose some safety problems when mixed with certain other chemicals it may be combustible and explosive.
Under normal circumstances and in most typical uses, it presents no health or safety hazards. One great thing, especially considering the many uses of glycerin, is that it is not poisonous to humans.
If you are searching for glycerin, you may want to find a realible commercial wholesale company that can supply your requirement and get the product to you safely and reliably. One excellent resource is Level 7 Chemical in Conway Arkansas. Go to the website today and check out the vegetable glycerin they have available. If you need glycerin, check them out and buy it today!
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