Two-Step Purification of Glycerol as a Value Added by Product From the Biodiesel Production Process

Abdul Raman, Abdul Aziz and Tan, Hooi W. and Buthiyappan, Archina (2019) Two-Step Purification of Glycerol as a Value Added by Product From the Biodiesel Production Process. Frontiers in Chemistry, 7. p. 774. ISSN 2296-2646, DOI

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For every ton of biodiesel produced, about 100 kg of glycerol is also generated as a by-product. The traditional method of removing glycerol is mainly by gravity separation or centrifugation. This method generates crude glycerol, which may still contain impurities such as methanol, oil, soap, salt, and other organic materials at ppm levels. The effective usage of crude glycerol is important to improve the economic sustainability of the biodiesel industry while reducing the environmental impacts caused by the generated waste. The application and value of crude glycerol can be enhanced if these impurities are removed or minimized. Thus, it is important to develop a method which can increase the economic and applicable value of crude glycerol. Therefore, in the present study, the dual step purification method comprised of acidification and ion exchange techniques has been used to purify the crude glycerol and convert it into higher-value products. The acidification process started with the pH adjustment of the crude glycerol, using phosphoric acid to convert soap into fatty acid and salts. Then, the pretreated glycerol was further purified by ion exchange with a strong cation H+ resin. Gas chromatography (GC) was used to analyze both crude and purified glycerol and expressed as the weight percentage of glycerol content. A maximum glycerol purity of 98.2% was obtained after the dual step purification method at the optimized conditions of 60% of solvent, the flow rate of 15 mL/min and 40 g of resin. Further, the glycerol content measured being within the accepted amount of BS 2621:1979. Therefore, this study has proven that the proposed crude glycerol purification process is effective in improving the glycerol purity and could enhance the applicability of glycerol in producing value-added products which bring new revenue to the biodiesel industry. © Copyright © 2019 Abdul Raman, Tan and Buthiyappan.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Universiti Malaya Research Grant (UMRG) - Frontier Science (AFR) RG384-17AFR Research Fund from the University of Malaya
Uncontrolled Keywords: acidification; biodiesel; crude glycerol; ion exchange; optimization; purification
Subjects: T Technology > TP Chemical technology
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2020 06:27
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2020 06:27

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