Biodiesel: the glycerol challenge

The big challenge in making biodiesel is what to do with glycerol that that the process produces. Cardiff University’s Chemistry Department has won a grant from the UK Department of Trade and Industry to try to find uses for the by product and is working with Vertellus Specialities.

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One Response to Biodiesel: the glycerol challenge

  1. Mark C R UK 30 April, 2007 at 4:53 pm #

    This is nothing new… Framework Program 7 (FP7) has a large section for funding provided for sustainable chemistry.

    Check out The University of York, Dept. of Chemistry, Green Chemistry CoE, UK

    My work there was involved in reactions of glycerol to give it “value added” status.

    Glycerol’s three hydroxy groups and low cost because of biodiesel manufacturing makes it a)highly verstile for polymer manufacture and other derivatives and b) a cheap feedstock

    One issue is the purity of the glycerol feed – how much purification. If I tell you much more I’d be giving away my own work however!

    All I’ll say is this is chemists – doing what chemists do – playing about with readily available materials – in my case using new clean technologies to do so, to minimise the overall (life-cycle) environmental impact.



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