MSDS - Glycerol

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Glycerol material data safety sheet. Reproduced with kind permission of the Department of Chemistry, Oxford University.

Last updated April 1, 2005

IMPORTANT
The glycerol produced as a by-product of biodiesel is NOT pure glycerol. The by-product will contain significant amounts of methanol, sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide, water and contaminants from the feedstock. Therefore biodiesel by-product glycerol should be treated as a mixture of all of the preceding and safety precautions pertaining to all the components should be observed. This MSDS is included in the interests of completeness


Common synonyms
  • 1,2,3-propanetriol
  • Glycerine
  • Glycerin
  • Glycyl alcohol
  • Glycerol USP
Formula C3H8O3
Properties

  • See note above regarding glycerol as a by-product of biodiesel.

  • Form: viscous colourless liquid
  • Stability: Stable
  • Melting point: 17.8°C
  • Boiling point: 290°C
  • Specific gravity: 1.26
  • Flash point: 160°C
  • Critical temperature: 492.2°C
  • Critical pressure: 42.5 atm
Principal hazards

  • See note above regarding glycerol as a by-product of biodiesel.
  • Glycerol is generally regarded as a safe material for which no special handling precautions are required. However, it is flammable. It also feels oily, so may be a slipping hazard if spilled on the floor.
Safe handling

  • See note above regarding Glycerol as a by-product of Biodiesel.

  • Wear safety glasses if required by local rules.
  • Clear up spills promptly.
Emergency

  • See note above regarding glycerol as a by-product of biodiesel.

  • Eye contact: Immediately flush the eye with water. If irritation persists, call for medical help.
  • Skin contact: Wash off with water.
  • If swallowed: Call for medical help if the amount swallowed is large.
  • Glycerol is widely used in foods, so accidental consumption of a small amount is unlikely to be harmful.
Disposal

  • See note above regarding glycerol as a by-product of biodiesel.

  • Small amounts of glycerol may be flushed down the sink unless local rules prohibit this.
  • Glycerol is viscous, so unless care is taken to wash all liquid away, some may remain in the sink and pose a fire risk.
Protective equipment

  • See note above regarding glycerol as a by-product of biodiesel.

  • Safety glasses if required by local rules.
Further information More extensive safety data


Bio-rich-time-poor 22:01, 25 June 2011 (BST)