Due to its unique technical and physical properties, the sphere of application of glycerin is quite broad: it can be used both in production and at home. It is a triatomic alcohol, colorless and odorless with a sweet taste. It has a viscous consistency.
The main properties of glycerin
The component is distinguished by the following features and parameters:
Well soluble in water and alcohol. Dissolves iodine, bromine, phenol, thymol,
mercury chloride, alkaloids;
Poorly soluble in natural solvents, esters, insoluble in hydrocarbons;
High hygroscopicity — attracts water molecules from the environment (this is why glycerin is actively used in cosmetics in order to moisturize the skin);
Energy value is 27 calories per tsp (the composition is approximately 60% sweeter than sucrose). At the same time, it does not raise blood sugar levels and does not contribute to the formation of bacteria that cause tooth decay;
melting point — 18 ° C;
boiling point — 290 °C.
Application of glycerin
The substance is harmless to the body and is in demand in many areas of our lives; we
will list some of them.
Glycerin in cosmetology
It is used to add gentleness to personal care products. As a moisturizing ingredient, it is used in the production of face creams and masks, body ointments.
The use of glycerin for hair is popular — shampoos containing glycerin make hair silkier.
It improves the quality of soap, softens the skin. Glycerin soap is suitable for people with sensitive skin. This soap is often made at home because it is good for keeping the skin fresh.
At the same time the substance is good at absorbing moisture. It is worth taking into account when making any kind of product. Therefore, it is usually not recommended to use cosmetics with glycerin too actively.
Glycerin in medicine
Medical glycerin is a component used in the pharmaceutical and medical industries to improve the elasticity of various medicines and solutions. Glycerin is used in medicine in drugs intended to reduce irritation of the throat and oral mucosa (for example, in cough syrups).
Other applications of glycerin in pharmaceuticals:
- Preparation of highly concentrated solutions — used instead of water, because it perfectly dissolves water and alcohol. It can be used both to increase and decrease the viscosity of the drug, prolonging the shelf life of the drug, ointment, paste and etc.;
- Glycerin is used to make suppositories (rectal suppositories) and the coating for tablets;
Glycerin has also recently been in high demand for the production of antiseptics and antibacterial solutions as a mitigation of the effects of isopropyl alcohol on hand skin, so that it does not dry out. Antiseptics have been effective in fighting coronavirus worldwide.
In the food industry, the ingredient is called «E422 additive”. Products containing E422 are stored longer and keep their fresh look. The substance is used as a preservative, to dilute flavoring additives and coloring agents.
Food-grade glycerin is used to manufacture the following products:
- Bakery products — prevents the formation of stale crust, gives puffiness;
- Confectionery — it improves consistency;
- Non-alcoholic liquids, liqueurs — glycerin makes them taste softer and is used as a thickener;
- Chewing gum — improves viscosity, used as a sugar substitute;
- Pasta — reduces sticking when cooked;
- Cookies and other low-fat products — as a filler;
- Chocolate — the ingredient makes it more delicate in taste;
- Ice cream — as a flavor stabilizer.
Glycerin in the tobacco industry
It regulates the moisture level of smoking mixtures. It is used to treat tobacco to protect it from drying out. In the manufacture of electronic cigarettes the substance is used for vaporization and is the main component of the mixture (added directly to the finished smoking liquid). Cartridges with VG (glycerin for vaping) do not dry out longer.
Using glycerin at home
Glycerin is also in demand in everyday life. For example, it can be used to make warm baths for hands (add a few drops of the substance to water and put your hands in the composition for 5 minutes). Glycerin is also used at home for the preparation of face
masks and patches (for example, from glycerin and vitamin E, mixed in equal
proportions). In general, there are many folk recipes for body care, in which this
substance is one of the main components.
Technical glycerin is used to improve the gloss of laminate, is added to products that help cut flowers stand longer in a vase and etc.
In conclusion, it is worth adding that glycerin in different forms is also used in the production of plastics, electrical and radio equipment, in agriculture, in the textile, paper, paint and leather industries.