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Evan Roberts

on 8 March 2013

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Transcript of Glycerin

By: Evan Roberts Researching and Reporting on a Common Household Chemical What is Glycerin? Properties of Glycerin Glycerin (Glycerine) Physical Properties Glycerin is a clear substance. It is soluble in both water and alcohol which makes it a very useful solvent for many different solids. Although it has a very sweet taste glycerin remains odorless in its regular state. Also, it is not a conductor at this state. Glycerin is almost over 1500 times more viscous than water and therefore helps when making other liquids more creamy and thick. Chemical Properties C3 H8 O3 Effects of Glycerin On the Environment Being considered non-toxic Glycerin has almost no effect on the environment in harmful ways. It can be disposed in water in small concentrations dissolving almost entirely and leaving no environmental problems. This is due to it being a natural component in living organisms. Risks/Benefits on Humans Even though glycerin is non-toxic it still can have risks on human health. In its toothpaste form it can cause nausea if swallowed. This problem occurs in a different way in other products. Glycerin has been said to cause dryness in hand lotions and body creams as it dehydrated which can be the cause of rashes and burns. This usually only occurs in high concentrations. In lower concentrations of glycerin it actually benefits humans by acting as a moisturizer for skin and hair. You may have noticed glycerin (or glycerine its synonym) labeled on one or more of the products you can find at home, but what is it? Glycerin is a colorless syrup like liquid. It carries a sweet taste and can dissolve and be dissolved by many other substances. Glycerin is produced by combining water and fat, most commonly from vegetables. The chemical is used in numerous household products ranging from toothpaste, skin creams and lotions, shaving lotions, deodorants, make up and shampoos. Aqua fresh contains Glycerin in its Multi-Action and Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste products. Glycerin is a necessary component to this toothpaste and is used in several ways. Primarily it is used as a solvent to dissolve solutes, a humectant to help the product retain water, and as an emollient. Glycerin is essential in the toothpaste to create a creamy paste. At the same time it helps the consistency of the paste, glycerin provides additives that create a sweeter taste for the toothpaste overall. Melting point =18.17ºC
Boiling point(760mm Hg) = 290ºC Glycerin reacts with water and dissolves when in contact with it. Reactions with the chemical mostly take place at neutral positions at 180C where it begins to dehydrate. At lower temperatures Glycerin tends to super cool rather than crystallize. Water solutions created with glycerin resist freezing showing why it is commonly also used in anti-freeze products. Chemical Formula Since the product is mostly harmless to humans it is already a safe substance. The only main cases where Glycerin has harmed humans is through skin creams and lotions where the concentration is too high for some peoples skin and creates a negative reaction making skin irritable. To solve this problem a different product with a different concentration of Glycerin may be necessary. Other than changing products these creams and lotion manufacturers need to test the concentration of Glycerin used on all types of skin to make sure irritability will not be a problem.
Subsitutes Diethylene glycol could be used as a substitute for glycerin in anti-freeze products and act relatively similar to the chemical. Diethylene glycol however could not be used in replacement of any other glycerin products used by humans as it is toxic and carries different properties when interacting with humans.

Ceramides are probably the most likely substitute for glycerin in moisturizers and lotions. In places where Glycerin creates dehydrated skin conditions Ceramides can act as the perfect cure for these problems while carrying out the physical properties Glycerin brings to the product.
References attached on word document submitted.
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