Other names: Glycerin, Glycerine, Propanetriol, 1,2,3-Trihydroxypropane, 1,2,3-Propanetriol

Glycerol (also called glycerine or glycerin; see spelling differences) is a simple polyol compound. It is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is sweet-tasting and non-toxic. The glycerol backbone is found in all lipids known as triglycerides. It is widely used in the food industry as a sweetener and humectant and in pharmaceutical formulations. Glycerol has three hydroxyl groups that are responsible for its solubility in water and its hygroscopic nature.

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Glycerol is used to produce nitroglycerin, which is an essential ingredient of various explosives such as dynamitegelignite, and propellants like cordite. Reliance on soap-making to supply co-product glycerol made it difficult to increase production to meet wartime demand. Hence, synthetic glycerol processes were national defense priorities in the days leading up to World War II.

Nitroglycerin, also known as glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) is commonly used to relieve angina pectoris, taken in the form of sub-lingual tablets, or as an aerosol spray.

Glycerol also has many uses in botanical and food industry.