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What elements are present in glycerol?

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Quick Answer

Glycerol contains the elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Glycerol is also known as glycerin, glycerine, 1,2,3-propanetriol, glyceritol, glycyl alcohol and trihydroxypropane. As the last name suggests, glycerol contains a hydrocarbon chain with three hydroxyl groups connected to it.

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Full Answer

The molecular formula of glycerol is C3H8O3. As such, one molecule of glycerol contains three carbon atoms, eight hydrogen atoms and three oxygen atoms. Glycerol is colorless, odorless and viscous, and is commonly used in pharmaceutical formulations. Each carbon atom has a hydroxyl group attached to it, and the hydroxyl groups are largely responsible for the solubility of the molecule in water.

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