Is glycerol flammable?

In this blog post, we will answer the question, “is glycerol flammable?”. We will also discuss what glycerol is, the combustion of glycerol, Is glycerol a viable source of fuel for automobiles, the difference between glycerol and glycerine, and the uses of glycerol.

Is glycerol flammable?

No. Glycerol is not flammable. It has a flashpoint of 160°C (320°F). This temperature is too high to be classified as a flammable liquid according to OSHA. 

What is glycerol?

Glycerol is a colorless, thick, sweet-tasting liquid in the alcohol family of organic materials. Its molecular formula is HOCH2CHOHCH2OH. 

The majority of glycerol manufacturing has shifted away from animal and vegetable fats and oils since 1948 to industrial synthesis from propylene or sugar. 

The French scientist Michel-Eugène Chevreul used the name glycerin in the 1800s to describe a class of commercial goods that contain 95% or more glycerol. 

Carl Wilhelm Scheele, a German-Swedish scientist, initially discovered glycerol in 1783, describing it as the “sweet principle of fat.”

Applications for glycerol are plenty. Several contemporary coatings rely on this component, including vehicle enamels & house paint. When combined with sulfuric and nitric acids, nitroglycerin produces a highly flammable compound.

Softening stools and treating constipation can be achieved using glycerol in the intestines. A person’s body retains more water when glycerol is present in the blood. Athletes may be able to work out for extended periods of time if they use this method.

Glycerol treats constipation, enhances athletic performance, and treats specific skin diseases. Unfortunately, no solid scientific evidence supports its applications for ear infections, obesity, or stroke.

Can glycerol catch fire?

Yes. Glycerol can catch fire (combustible). However, igniting it may be challenging.

Combust spontaneously?

Yes. It can combust spontaneously if heated to its autoignition temperature, which is 400°C (752°F). However, this temperature is considerably high, so glycerol will not combust easily. 

What happens if you heat glycerol?

Glycerol decomposes to acrolein when heated to high temperatures.

Acrolein, an unsaturated aldehyde, is highly reactive. It can polymerize on its own into a yellowish substance and possibly react with other components in the sample, probably causing the brown crud.

Is glycerol a viable source of fuel for automobiles?

Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms make up the chemical formula C3H5(OH)3, commonly known as glycerol. You could get fuel from sustainable resources if you could unlock hydrogen. 

Steam reforming of methane creates hydrogen and carbon monoxide, the world’s primary hydrogen source.

When it comes to hydrogen production, Dupont believes that turning glycerol into hydrogen is an acceptable substitute for methane.

Glycerol is the primary byproduct of biodiesel manufacturing, accounting for around 10% (w/w). For each gallon of biodiesel manufactured, 1.05 lbs of glycerol are generated. 

Approximately 11,500 tons of 99.9% pure glycerin may be produced annually by a 30-million-gallon factory.

Dupont is creating a practical procedure for releasing pure hydrogen (H2) & carbon dioxide (CO2) from glycerol, based on previous research.

Since refined glycerol is a precious and commercially important chemical, crude glycerol provides a wealth of possibilities for novel uses. 

That is why there is increased focus on using crude glycerol from biodiesel manufacturing to offset the expense of biodiesel production and support the large-scale manufacturing of biodiesel. 

What is the difference between glycerol and glycerine? 

Glycerol and glycerin vary in no way at all chemically. For the simple reason that they are both made of the same molecule, this means that in addition to being called glycerin, it is also called glycerol.

Pure mixes are referred to as glycerol. Glycerin, on the other hand, has commercial grades that are independent of purity.

What are the uses of glycerol?

  • To soften baked items, make shortening plastic, and solidify ice cream.
  • It can be used in lotions, mouthwash, cough remedies, medicinal solvents, serums, vaccinations, and suppositories in the pharmacy & toiletries industries.
  • A further important application is protecting living tissues such as eye corneas, sperm cells, and red blood cells while frozen.
  • Constipation may benefit from its use. Constipation in kids and adults can be alleviated with glycerol suppositories or rectum enema. This usage has been authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).
  • Glycerol may help athletes perform better. It is beneficial to consume glycerol and water in order to maintain the body hydrated during physical activity. However, it isn’t evident if this aids athleticism.
  • A dry, scaly skin condition passed down in families may also benefit from it. Glycerol and paraffin-based creams (Dexeryl, Pierre Fabre Laboratoires) can relieve itchiness & scale in children with ichthyosis. 

How to store glycerol safely?

  • Store out of direct sunlight and heat whenever possible to preserve product quality. 
  • Containers should be stored in a well-ventilated, cool, and dry setting. They should also be tightly closed. 
  • Do not freeze the glycerol.
  • Keep away from moisture. 


In this blog post, we will answer the question, “is glycerol flammable?”. We will also discuss what glycerol is, the combustion of glycerol, Is glycerol a viable source of fuel for automobiles, the difference between glycerol and glycerine, and the uses of glycerol.

If you have more questions about glycerol and flammability, please comment down below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Is glycerol flammable?

Are there any special precautions and warnings for glycerol?

Glycerol may be safe for short-term usage when ingested. Diarrhea, nausea, bloating, dizziness, and headaches are potential side effects.

Glycerol is usually safe to use topically on the skin. It may cause burning, itchiness, and redness on highly sensitive skin. 

As long as it is administered in the rectum, glycerol suppositories and enemas are reasonably safe and have been authorized by the FDA for OTC use.

Glycerol safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding is unknown due to a lack of solid research. Avoid putting yourself at risk by using it.

Glycerol suppositories or enemas placed into the rectum of kids at least two years old appear safe. Glycerol is probably safe for babies as young as one month old. Taking glycerol orally for a short period of time in adolescents, two months to 16 years old, may be safe.


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