Improved utilisation of renewable resources: New important derivatives of glycerol
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Glycerol, 1,2,3-propane triol, has been a well known chemical for more than two centuries. It was discovered in 1783 by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele when treating natural oils with alkali materials. He noticed the formation of a liquid which he tasted, finding a very sweet flavour. He published his research results under the title ‘‘Experiment about a special sugar material coming from squeezed oils and fats’’. However, the discovery of ‘‘Scheele’s sweet’’ had no further impact on scientific research or industrial usage for a long time. The name ‘‘glycerol’’ was given in 1811 by the chemist Michel Eugene Chevreul, who deduced this name from the Greek word ‘‘glykos’’ (= sweet).