Synlett 2014; 25(4): 601-602
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1340636
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York


Bin Yu
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, Henan, P. R. of China   Email: [email protected]
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Publication History

Publication Date:
08 January 2014 (online)


Glycerol, a colorless and odorless liquid, is readily available as an inevitable by-product in the process of biodiesel production by transesterification of vegetable oils and can also be potentially obtained from more sustainable sources such as microalgae or cellulose.[1] It is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations because of its low price, low toxicity, and special physicochemical properties, including water solubility and hygroscopicity.[2]

Glycerol and some of its derivatives are already used in the chemical industry as precursors to produce various more valuable products such as hydroxyacetone,[3] acrolein,[4] lactic acid,[5] and 1, 3-propanediol.[6] Besides, glycerol is also widely used in organic synthesis because it dissolves inorganic salts, acids, bases, many transition-metal complexes, and enzymes.[7] It is also used in other fields, such as protein crystallization,[8] cosmetics, pharmaceutical formulations, and foodstuffs.[9]

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