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Synthesis of

Hydroalcoholic Gel
Pnotporn Jantarakolica (5861115)

Supichaya Nobnom (5861155)

Kimmy Pathanasap (5861052)

Passawas Satitjindawong (5861095)

Pichayathida Siriwechdauk (5861105)

Advance Chemistry 1102

Ms.Patraphorn Sanguansat

Mahidol University International Demonstration School

Semester 2 Academic year 2016-17

The objective of this lab is to apply
the lessons taught in chemistry class to
real-life labs, in this case, making a
hand gel from using ethyl alcohol.
Moreover, this lab would also
demonstrates and allow students to
learn how to make their own hand gel
by using organic substances and
With the knowledge in organic chemistry,
this lab experiment was conducted in order to
apply the knowledge about the applications of
organic substances, especially alcohol. In this
experiment, hand gels were produced by mixing
different chemicals together. By this, students
are able to analyze the key components on
making a successful hand gel and observe the
mistakes that were made by their peers. The
result of this experiment is that hand gels that
smell and look pleasant were made, and
students acknowledge the role of each of the
chemicals in making a hand gel.
In order to create a hand gel, there are five main
chemicals used: Triethanolamine, propylene glycol, carbopol
940, ethyl alcohol, and aroma essential oil.

Carbopal 940
Carbomers are large molecules formed by small
compounds called monomers. It is a series of polymers
made from acrylic acid. They have the ability to absorb
and retain water. Carbopol 940 is a product that is
made from carbomers mainly used as a gelling agent
in various labs to conduct viscoelastic property of
piroxicam gels, meaning that it has short flow and non-
drip properties (What is a Carbomer and Why is it
used?, n.d). It is found in a form of white powder and is
a crosslinked polyacrylic acid polymer (Carbopol 940
polymer, n.d).
Propylene Glycol
Propylene glycol is a synthetic, clear, colorless,
syrupy liquid at room temperature. It is commonly used
as an antifreeze and solvent for food coloring and
flavoring, as well as the solvent for plastics and paints.
Also, it was used to produce artificial smoke in
theatrical production and fire-fighting training.
Propylene glycol could be made into vapor if heated or
briskly shaken. It is practically odorless and colorless
(Propylene Glycol, n.d).

Triethanolamine is a kind of alkylamine with the
molecular formula C6H15NO3. It is an oily, colorless
liquid with a slight ammoniacal odor and is
denser than water. It is commonly used as a
food additive. (Triethanolamine, 2017)
Ethyl alcohol (Ethanol)
Ethyl alcohol or ethanol (CH3CH2OH or C2H6O) is a
clear, colorless, and volatile liquid that could be prepared
by the process of fermentation of carbohydrates such
as glucose and the process of hydration of ethylene
(Ethanol, 2017). Pure ethyl alcohol toxic and is highly
flammable (Ethyl alcohol, n.d). It contains the
functional group alcohol meaning that it has a hydroxy
group attached to a carbon chain. Moreover, due to the
name Ethyl, the carbon chain of the alcohol is formed
from two carbons. Ethanol has several uses in the
cosmetics field. It could be used as an astringent in
cleaners, preservatives, and agent that were used in
order to prevent separation of ingredients in lotion, and
as an adhesive in hairsprays. Other than that, ethanol
could be used as solvents. Moreover, it is used as an
antiseptic and is commonly used in hand sanitizers due
to its ability to kill microorganisms
(Ethanol, n.d).
Aroma Essential Oil
Aroma essential oil contain esters and usually
contain parent alcohols without parent acids. Esters are
known for mild and pleasant properties are highly used
to produce perfume due to its fragrance (Steward,
2005). Despite the fact that it is called an oil, aroma
essential oil is not greasy and is volatile, meaning that
it evaporates easily. It is also lipophilic, meaning that it
likes fats. Other than esters, aroma essential oils could
also contains other functional groups such as
Aldehydes, Ethers, Phenols, and Monoterpene Alcohols
(Essential Oil Chemistry - Why Aroma Matters, n.d).

Carbopol 940 Triethanolamine Distilled water

Ethyl alcohol 95% Propylene glycol Container

Aroma essential oil Coloring agent (food grade)


50 mL, 10 mL, &

10 mL cylinder Magnetic bar
600 mL beakers

Hot plate Dropper Stirring rod

Weighing paper
1) Dissolve 1.5 2) Heat at 100
grams of celsius, Stirring
Carbopol 940 for 5-10 minutes
with 128 ml of by using
distilled water magnetic bar

3) Then, add
4)Gently drop
370 ml of ethyl
1.5 grams of
alcohol and 5 ml of
propylene glycol,
until it mix
further blend for 5
5) Leave at room
temperature at 6) At last step,
least 15 minutes, adjust color and
gel should form essential oil
during this time.

7) Hand in sample, labelled with your name

group, the name of compound and the date
to the lab instructor.
After combining carbopol 940, distilled water, ethyl
alcohol 95%, propylene glycol, and triethanolamine together, a
clear and alcohol smell hand gel was formed. By doing this
experiment, the knowledge learnt from chemistry class is
adapted and each members were able to observe the effects
of combining these chemical substances together. The flaws
that were conducted in this experiment was that the hand gel
were colorless and the smell of the ethanol was too strong.
Despite these obstacles, it could be considered a successful
hand gel. To solve this issue, each of the members were able to
add aroma essential oil to cover up the strong smell of
ethanol and coloring agent to brighten up their hand gel colors
until satisfied. Furthermore, some of the hand gels were too
watery during the first phrase after it was done and had to
be left alone for a period of time to become evaporated and
thicken. For the result of the experiment, it could be said that
the experiment was successful due to the production of hand
gel that is not too watery, or too thick and each of the
members were able to create a hand gel with their desired
smell and color.
Working on this synthesis hydroalcoholic gel lab
experiment allowed the students to observe different
effects of organic compounds. Within this experiment,
carbopol 940 was combined to thicken the solution of
distilled water, ethyl alcohol (antiseptic), and propylene
glycol (moisturizer). Triethanolamine was, then, added to
form a gel, or in other words, blend the whole solution
By doing this experiment, the role of each of the
chemical in making the hand gel could be determined.
First, the distilled water was heated. The distilled water
was used as the base of the hand gel. The role of the
distilled water is being the solvent. Next, carbopol 940
was added to the heated distilled water in order to
thicken the hand gel. After the carbopol was soaked
enough, ethyl alcohol was added to the mixture. The role
of ethyl alcohol in the hand gel is being the antiseptic.
At the same time, propylene glycol was added to the
mixture as well in order to moisturize the skin and
prevent the skin from being too dry after using the
hand gel. Lastly, Triethanolamine was added in order to
form the gel. If the gel was too liquidy, more
triethanolamine could be added until the gel meets the
desired consistency. After a colorless gel was formed,
desired aroma essential oil and coloring could be added
in order to make the hand gel smells and look nice.
The varieties of the result were seen among each
group members. The hand gel that was created by
Pizza, Milly, and Kimmy were too watery and had a
very strong smell. This is due to the fact that aroma
essential oil which was used to add the artificial smell
for the hand gel was added in a huge amount by these
members. The reason that this issue occurred is
probably that these three members were not able to
smell the aroma essential oil. Since the room was filled
with alcohol smell, their noses might be blocked by the
smell of alcohol. Mills hand gel was also
watery, but not as much as Pizza, Milly,
and Kimmy.
However, the color of his hand gel was too dark from
sticky and adding too much coloring agent which
has caused it sticky and
takes a long time to dry. On the contrary, Bees hand
gel was successful and can actually be used without
being too sticky or too watery.
Though every group member was able to create a
hand gel, some mistakes were made during the process
of working on the experiment. As mentioned previously,
too much of coloring agent and aroma essential oil is
added to the hand gel. Furthermore, there was not
enough triethanolamine added to it in which caused the
hand gel to have low viscosity. Therefore, if an
experiment was to be conducted again next time, it is
important to take these mistakes in consideration by
making sure that an appropriate amount of
substances are added to the other chemicals
substances to yield a product.
To conclude, the experiment was successful
and the purposes of this lab, to test the reaction
between carbopol 940, ethyl alcohol 95%, propylene
glycol, triethanolamine, and distilled water to create
a hand gel, has been achieved. The hand gel produced
from each of the members could be used to wash
hands without using any water.
A-Sasutjarit, R., Sirivat, A., & Vayumhasuwan, P. (2005).
Viscoelastic Properties of Carbopol
940 Gels and Their Relationships to Piroxicam
Diffusion Coefficients in Gel Bases.
Pharmaceutical Research, 22(12), 2134-2140.
Carbopol 940 polymer. (n.d). Retrieved May 25, 2017 from
Ethanol. (2017). Retrieved May 25, 2017 from
Ethanol. (n.d). Retrieved May 25, 2017 from
Ethyl alcohol. (n.d). Retrieved May 25, 2017 from
Essential Oil Chemistry - Why Aroma Matters. (n.d).
Retrieved May 25, 2017 from
Propylene Glycol. (n.d). Retrieved May 4 from
Steward, D. (2005). The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made
Simple: Gods Love Manifest in Molecules. Missouri:
Care Publications
Triethanolamine. (2017). Retrieved May 24, 2017 from
What is a Carbomer and Why is it Used?. (n.d). Retrieved
May 25, 2017 from https://nutrawiki.org/what-is-a-