Analytical Methods for Glycerol by M. R. F. Ashworth

By M. R. F. Ashworth

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On shaking, colour was observed in the organic phase with alcohol samples. Glycerol yielded a green colour. 2. ESTERIFICATION METHODS Glycerol can be converted into mono-, di-, and tri-esters. Triesters with a single acid component are the easiest to prepare, and this reaction is the basis of standard analytical procedures. 1. Identification of Glycerol A standard method for identifying organic compounds is to convert them into suitable derivatives which are then examined. The melting point determination of solid derivatives is the commonest realisation of this principle.

They confirmed that the method is based on dehydration of the glycerol to acrolein and subsequent formation of benzanthrone, and found that it was especially good for chromatographic spots. Sugars interfere as expected. 2. Phenols Phenols have been especially popular as components of colour reagents for glycerol. Christensen (1962) carried out a systematic investigation of the colours yielded from 3 ml of various alcohols and 5 mg or 5 jxl of 17 different phenols on mixing in 5 ml of cone, sulphuric acid.

WITH AROMATIC COMPOUNDS In some tests for glycerol an aromatic reagent (generally a phenol or carbonyl compound) in concentrated acid (often sulphuric) is used, yielding characteristic and intense colours. It is probable in many cases that the acid dehydrates the glycerol to acrolein which then participates in a condensation reaction with the aromatic nucleus. 1. Carbonyl Compounds Bally and Scholl (1911) showed that acrolein reacts with an throne to give benzan throne: This dimerises in cone, sulphuric acid to give violet-red dibenzanthrone or green isodibenzanthrone.

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