22.05.2023 by Aileen Sammler

Investigation of the Thermal Stability of High-Boiling Organic Substances – The Miracle Product Glycerol

High-boiling organics are compounds that possess a boiling point at increased temperatures. They are typically liquid or solid at room temperature. One example of a high-boiling organic substance is glycerol, chemically known as propane-1,2,3-triol. It belongs to the family of sugar alcohols, specifically to the family of triols. Glycerol is colorless and has a sweet taste. Its consistency is slightly viscous.

Getting in touch with glycerol is part of our everyday life. It is used in cosmetics, medical products, shoe polish, toothpaste, antifreeze and disinfectants, animal feed, shisha tobacco, food, microchips, as well as lubricants and plasticizers. Glycerol is even utilized in the production of biodiesel. Due to its versatile applications and its ability to retain moisture, glycerol has become an important raw material in various industries.

About the Thermal Stability of Glycerol

The thermal stability of glycerol and the gases evolved during temperature treatment is of great importance for several reasons due to its versatile range of applications:

  1. Safety: If glycerol and the gases evolved are unstable or undergo dangerous reactions at increased temperatures, there is a risk of accidents, fire hazards or explosive reactions. Understanding the thermal stability allows for identifying potential hazards and implementing appropriate measures to minimize these risks.
  2. Product quality: When glycerol or its derivatives undergo Réaction de DécompositionA decomposition reaction is a thermally induced reaction of a chemical compound forming solid and/or gaseous products. decomposition at high temperatures, undesirable compounds or by-products may occur, which can affect the desired properties of the product. This can lead to quality problems, reduced performance or even render the product unusable. By investigating the thermal stability, manufacturers can ensure that their products meet the required standards.
  3. Process optimization: Understanding the decomposition behavior and gas evolution in industrial processes allows for adjusting process parameters to enhance productivity, improve processing efficiency and reduce scrap or losses.

The combination of thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) offers an effective method for characterizing high-boiling organic substances.

Read our latest application note about measuring the thermal stability of glycerol using the TGA-FT-IR method to learn more: 

Photo: TG 209 F1 and INVENIO with external gas cell

30 Years of Thermal Analysis and FT-IR

The combination of thermal analysis and FT-IR (Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy) is a well-established investigative method in the polymer-producing, chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

Since 1993, a collaboration has existed between NETZSCH-Gerätebau GmbH and the spectrometer manufacturer Bruker Optics GmbH & Co. KG. Both companies have been working together continuously for 30 years, striving to further develop and enhance their products and solutions, as well as the coupling of both instrument technologies.

Watch our latest video to learn how the TGA-FT-IR method can also simplify your research work:

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