# Ester of glycerol and glyceric acid

What is the ester of glycerol ($$\ce{C3H8O3}$$) and glyceric acid ($$\ce{C3H6O4}$$)? I couldn't find any information about it online, so is this reaction even possible? I'm not sure what would happen, from my understanding, the alkyl of the alcohol replaces the hydrogen in ($$\ce{-COOH}$$) the carboxylic acid. But I can't work out this one.

I think it could be $$\ce{C6H12O6}$$ (mono ester) or $$\ce{C12H23O15}$$ (tri ester) , but I'm not sure. Is this correct? Is there a characteristic difference between the 3(mono, di or tri esters)? What dictates which one will be formed? Also, do the compounds have any significance?

• Since glycerol has 3 hydroxyl groups, you could have mono, di or tri-esters. How could it be C5? For a monoester it would be C3 + C3 = C6! Mar 20 '19 at 22:07
• Oops! Missed that, could it be C12H23O15 (tri ester)? Mar 20 '19 at 22:11
• There isn't enough information to make a decision. The triester will be C12 but if you use racemic glyceric acid there would be several diastereomeric triesters. PS: Can't have an odd number of hydrogens and the oxygens are wrong. Do you know what an ester is and the structures of the 2 reactants? Mar 20 '19 at 22:19
• And don't forget, glyceric acid and react each other when its $\ce{COOH}$ is activated, depend on the method you'd use. Mar 20 '19 at 22:25
• That issue is readily averted by using the acetonide of glyceric acid for the esterification with glycerol. The acetonide can be hydrolyzed without affecting the ester. @Mathew Mahindaratne Mar 20 '19 at 23:01