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Catalytic Thermochemical Conversion of Glycerol (OTT case 11-022)

Biodiesel production reached its historical record of 1.1 billion gallons last year in the US. For every pound of biodiesel, approximately 0.1 pounds of crude glycerol is produced as a byproduct. Dealing with the excessive crude glycerol from biodiesel production is now becoming a dilemma to the industry. The crude glycerol possesses is very low value due to the impurities present. University of Idaho researchers have developed a technology that utilizes the low-grade glycerol and converts it into valuable products for enhanced sustainability of biodiesel industry. This new methodology converts the glycerol with much higher efficiencies and shorter processing times than current technologies. The conversion is achieved at temperatures of 100 - 280 degrees Celsius, 1-50 bars and a residence time of 5-120 minutes. The required hydrogen is produced in situ during the conversion process.