Background: Glycerin, when heated with a metal coil, decomposes below its boiling point to acrolein, which in turn appears to decompose to formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. (see previous post)

Question: Is there a chemical that could be added, or a process that could be applied, that would lessen the decomposition of glycerine when vaporized?

  • $\begingroup$ Please note that there's a policy here that doesn't allow us to answer questions that look for medical advice. Ah well, I hope the answerer to this will be able to point to your issues with Wikipedia links and maybe some things like MSDS's. $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. May 4 '15 at 13:28
  • $\begingroup$ "Noxious levels" is a subjective term and by no means a clear result from all ecigs. Besides those noxious compounds are also formed in cooking and it has so far proved impossible to show they cause harm in food (though many have tried). I think you've got carried away by anti-tobacco rhetoric which tends to lead to poor science getting a hearing. $\endgroup$ – matt_black May 4 '15 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ At concentrations above 0.1 ppm in air formaldehyde can irritate the eyes and mucous membranes (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formaldehyde).That is not subjective, nor is it anti-tobacco rhetoric - it is an accepted scientific fact. Furthermore, e-liquids are usually vaporized and inhaled into the lungs - not eaten. $\endgroup$ – Tyler Keys May 5 '15 at 9:28

You could try the mechanism behind mist fountains or other "cold fog" machines:

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These use an ultrasonic oscillating diaphragm to produce a fine mist of room temp water, no heating performed. The resulting vaping machine would be larger and require more power, but wouldn't have the harmful aldehydes inherent in current vaping liquids. Nicotine itself is hygroscopic but not really water soluble at room temp, but it can form salts that are water-soluble so it could be introduced to the body this way. Various flavors currently used might be more or less water-soluble. Finally, the fog, being simple water vapor, wouldn't be visible when exhaled which is one reason the glycerol compounds are used; they produce a "smoke" that dissipates more quickly than tobacco smoke.

  • $\begingroup$ Could you build a machine like this roughly the size of a home telephone ? $\endgroup$ – J. LS May 4 '15 at 18:06
  • $\begingroup$ Should be feasible; a vaping hookah of sorts. $\endgroup$ – KeithS May 4 '15 at 19:20
  • $\begingroup$ That looks very promising. Perhaps by mixing the glycerine with water, applying a little heat, and using a more heavy-duty mister, a reasonable "smoke" could be produced. $\endgroup$ – Tyler Keys May 5 '15 at 8:54
  • $\begingroup$ @KeithS Your answer implies that an ultrasonic oscillator couldn't be used for the production of vapor from a standard propylene glycol/vegetable glycerin-based 'e-juice.' If that was intentional on your part, what is the reason why it wouldn't be possible? $\endgroup$ – a13ph Nov 13 '19 at 10:57

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