Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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glycerol ( glycerin )

A sweet, colorless, syrupy, hygroscopic trihydroxy alcohol (C 3 H 5 (OH) 3 ), that occurs combined as glycerides, and is used as a hygroscopic agent in glue (mainly animal glues) to enable it to remain relatively soft and flexible. Because it is hygroscopic, glycerol can actually absorb so much moisture that mold growths can develop unless an antiseptic is added along with the softening agent. The high cost of glycerol has led to the substitution of other softening agents, such as SORBITOL and diethylene glycol. (339 )

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