is Refined Glycerine Flammable? Facts Explained

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A versatile ingredient utilized in many industries, such as pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, cosmetics, and more, refined glycerine is an odorless, colorless liquid. Evaluating a chemical substance’s safety features, such as its flammability, is essential. In this article, we will explore the question: Is refined glycerine flammable?

Understanding Flammability

It is crucial to look at a substance’s chemical characteristics in order to ascertain whether it is flammable. Glycerol, another name for refined glycerine, is a triol molecule having the formula C3H8O3. Refined glycerine is not categorized as highly flammable, in contrast to certain common flammable liquids like gasoline or alcohol.

Flash Point
The temperature at which a substance can catch fire when it comes into contact with an open flame or spark is known as its flash point. Refined glycerine usually has a flash point above 160 degrees Celsius (320 degrees Fahrenheit), which is rather high. This indicates that purified glycerine is difficult to ignite under typical circumstances.

Non-Flammable Nature
Refined glycerine’s non-flammable nature can be attributed to its molecular structure. It contains hydroxyl groups (-OH), which contribute to its high flash point and low volatility. This makes refined glycerine a safer substance to handle compared to highly flammable chemicals.

Applications in Non-Flammable Products

Refined glycerine is a desired constituent in many applications where fire safety is a concern because it is non-flammable. For example:

Pharmaceuticals: The pharmaceutical business frequently uses refined glycerine to develop medications, and the non-flammable nature of this substance adds to the safety of pharmaceutical manufacturing operations.

Cosmetics and Personal Care Goods: Because refined glycerine has moisturizing qualities, it is frequently used in skincare and cosmetic goods. Its non-flammable quality is useful for making these items.

Food and Drinks: The food sector uses refined glycerine as a sweetener and humectant. Its non-flammable qualities are essential for guaranteeing food processing safety.

Fire Hazards and Storage

Even though refined glycerine is not highly flammable, there are a few things to keep in mind that could influence how flammable it can get. For example, glycerine’s flash point may be lowered by pollutants or impurities. Thus, to preserve refined glycerine’s non-flammable properties, purity must be maintained.

Furthermore, it’s best to store refined glycerine away from heat sources, sparks, and open flames. To reduce any potential hazards, proper storage in places with sufficient ventilation and fire safety precautions is crucial.

Firefighting Considerations

In the rare event of a fire involving refined glycerine, understanding the appropriate firefighting measures is vital. Standard firefighting procedures, including using water spray, foam, or dry chemical agents, can be employed. It’s important to note that water may not be effective in extinguishing glycerine fires, as glycerol is water-soluble and can be challenging to extinguish with water alone.

Firefighters and emergency responders should be aware of the specific characteristics of refined glycerine and take necessary precautions to handle fires involving this substance safely.

Regulatory Compliance

Guidelines and regulations have been created by regulatory authorities, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the United States, regarding the handling and storage of chemicals, including refined glycerine. Respecting these rules is essential to maintaining workplace safety and legal compliance. Download our MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) to learn the standard safety handling and storage of refined glycerine.


In summary, while refined glycerine is generally considered non-flammable, it is essential for individuals and industries to be aware of potential fire hazards and take appropriate precautions. By following recommended storage practices, maintaining purity, and understanding emergency response procedures, the use of refined glycerine can continue to be safe and beneficial across various applications. Regular training, awareness, and compliance with safety regulations are key elements in fostering a secure working environment when dealing with refined glycerine and other chemical substances.

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