It was formerly produced in large quantities in the soap industry through saponification of fats and oils. Presently, considerable amounts are produced by chemical synthesis. Glycerol is used in a wide variety of commercial products: foods, cosmetics, medicines, tobaccos, and so on. It is used for the manufacture of nitroglycerin, an important component of dynamite.

j i einical Reactions of Alcohols

K® ohols undergo two types of reactions of special interest.

; -1 formation Alcohols react with acids, both inorganic and organic, to form Hie« Inorganic hydroxy acids yield "inorganic" esters:

^¿janic acids yield organic esters:

rganic esters are discussed in Sec. 5.6, nidation Most alcohols are readily oxidized by strong oxidizing agents and by Wy microorganisms. The product of the oxidation depends upon the class of alco-oi involved.

V Primary alcohols are oxidized to aldehydes. The general equation is

Primary alcohol h

An aldehyde

Care must be used in selecting the oxidizing agent, or the aldehyde may be oxidized still further to an acid.

£ ■ ■ Secondary alcohols are oxidized to ketones.

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