What is Crude Glycerine

Crude Glycerine is a co-product in the manufacturing of oleo-chemical products. Some of the crude glycerine generating processes are:
  • Production of fatty acids
  • Production of fatty alcohols
  • Production of methyl esters
  • Production of biodiesel and soaps.
crude glycerine in a tube

Manufacturing Process

crude glycerine manufacturing chart

One of the commercial processes that manufactures crude glycerine as a by-product, is the treatment of triglycerides with an alcohol such as ethanol, in the presence of a catalytic base to give ethyl esters or fatty acids with crude glycerine. Before being used, most of the time Crude Glycerine will have to be purified to Refined Glycerine first. Crude glycerine range from around 65% to 85% while Refined Glycerine mostly around 99.5% to 99.7%, USP or BP grade is also available.

chemical tubes

The Uses of Crude Glycerine

Food and beverages Industry

Glycerine is used as a humectant because of its hygroscopic property. By controlling the moisture in food, it increases the shelf life and ensures stability of the product. For example, in meat, cheeses, etc. However, crude glycerine must be purified to fit the food standards. It acts as a sweetener and a solvent for food flavouring and colouring.Crude glycerine is also used for the manufacture of glycerides which can be used as emulsifiers, as a filler in low fat food products like cookies, biscuits, etc.

Personal Care Industry

Crude glycerine is used in personal care products as a humectant, solvent, lubricant. It is even added to toothpastes, mouthwash and skin lotions.

Medical and pharmaceutical Industry
Crude glycerine is used as an excipient, in medical formulations for improving the smoothness and providing lubrication, owing to its viscous property.It is also used as a humectant and is added to cough syrups, tonics, expectorants for its sweet taste. However, crude glycerine must be purified to fit the pharmaceutical standards.

Chemical Industry

Crude glycerine acts as a raw material for the manufacture of polyols for the production of foams.It is used in the polymer industry as a softener and a plasticizer to impart flexibility and toughness.Crude glycerine is utilized as a filler in surface coatings and paints. It is used in the manufacturing of paper as a plasticizer, humectant and lubricant, it is even used to make alkyd resins cellophane for meat casings, collagen casings that have medical applications, etc.

Product Identification

Physical and Chemical Properties