Biodiesel makers face a problem: what to do with the glycerine/glycerol,that the biodiesel production process makes on the side.
One answer to the problem of what to do with glcyerine made with biodieselcame across my desk from Chemisch2Weekblad a few minutes ago. I saw it in translation, the site is in Dutch.
The former Methanor plant at Delfzijl, Netherlands, is to use glycerine as a raw material for producing biomethanol according to the initiators of the project. The facility was acquired earlier in 2006 from the joint owners DSM, Akzo Nobel, and Dynea by BioMethanol Holding, a consortium of Ecoconcern, the NOM, the investor OakInvest, and the process technologists Sieb Doorn and Paul Hamm.
What are they going to do with the biomethanol? Firstly, sell it as a petrol additive and later maybe use it in fuel cells. The plant produced methanol from Dutch natural gas but was closed down because this process was no longer profitable. Modifications to allow the use of glycerine will be carried out over then next nine months. The plant will be re-commissioned as soon as possible and in the first instance will produce 100,000 tonne/yr.
Glycol is quite like a bunch of methanol molecules welded together, the process to convert this to methanol would involve breaking up the molecule and adding hydrogen. Now where are they getting the hydrogen from? Natural gas? and what kind of catalyst would you use for the reaction... Any thoughts, because BioMethanol Holding isn't saying