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IUPAC name
Other names
3-Hydroxypropylene oxide
Epoxypropyl alcohol
Hydroxymethyl ethylene oxide
2-Hydroxymethyl oxiran
556-52-5 YesY
ChEBI CHEBI:30966 YesY
ChemSpider 10691 YesY
ECHA InfoCard 100.008.300
Jmol 3D model Interactive image
KEGG C10920 YesY
PubChem 11164
Molar mass 74.08 g·mol−1
Appearance Viscous liquid
Density 1.1143 g/cm³[1]
Melting point −54 °C (−65 °F; 219 K)[3]
Boiling point 167 °C (333 °F; 440 K) (decomposes)[1]
Vapor pressure 0.9 mmHg (25°C)[2]
Safety data sheet External MSDS
NFPA 704
Flammability code 2: Must be moderately heated or exposed to relatively high ambient temperature before ignition can occur. Flash point between 38 and 93 °C (100 and 200 °F). E.g., diesel fuel Health code 4: Very short exposure could cause death or major residual injury. E.g., VX gas Reactivity code 3: Capable of detonation or explosive decomposition but requires a strong initiating source, must be heated under confinement before initiation, reacts explosively with water, or will detonate if severely shocked. E.g., fluorine Special hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Flash point 66 °C (151 °F; 339 K)[3]
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
420 mg/kg (oral, rat)[3][4]
1980 mg/kg (dermal, rabbit)[3][5]
450 ppm (mouse, 4 hr)
580 ppm (rat, 8 hr)[6]
US health exposure limits (NIOSH):
PEL (Permissible)
TWA 50 ppm (150 mg/m3)[2]
REL (Recommended)
TWA 25 ppm (75 mg/m3)[2]
IDLH (Immediate danger)
150 ppm[2]
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Glycidol is an organic compound that contains both epoxide and alcohol functional groups. Being bifunctional, it has a variety of industrial uses. The compound is a slightly viscous liquid that is slightly unstable and is not often encountered in pure form.

Synthesis and applications[edit]

Glycidol is prepared by the epoxidation of allyl alcohol.[7]

Glycidol is used as a stabilizer for natural oils and vinyl polymers and as a demulsifier. It is used as a chemical intermediate in the synthesis of glycerol, glycidyl ethers, esters and amines. It is used in surface coatings, chemical synthesis, pharmaceuticals, sanitary chemicals and sterilizing milk of magnesia, and as a gelation agent in solid propellants.[8]


Glycidol is an irritant of the skin, eyes, mucous membranes, and upper respiratory tract. Exposure to glycidol may also cause central nervous system depression, followed by central nervous system stimulation.[9] It is listed as an IARC group 2A carcinogen, meaning that it is "probably carcinogenic to humans".[10] In regards to occupational exposures, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set a permissible exposure limit at 50 ppm over an eight-hour work shift, while the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends a limit at 25 ppm over an eight-hour work shift.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Merck Index, 11th Edition, 4385
  2. ^ a b c d e "NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards #0303". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). 
  3. ^ a b c d Record in the GESTIS Substance Database of the IFA
  4. ^ Food and Cosmetics Toxicology. Vol. 19, Pg. 347, 1981
  5. ^ AMA Archives of Industrial Health. Vol. 14, Pg. 250, 1956
  6. ^ "Glycidol". Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). 
  7. ^ Guenter Sienel, Robert Rieth, Kenneth T. Rowbottom "Epoxides" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2005. doi:10.1002/14356007.a09_531
  8. ^ Glycidol at
  9. ^ OSHA guidelines for glycidol
  10. ^ IARC Monographs - Classifications - Group2A
  11. ^ CDC - NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards