Purification and characterization of waste stream glycerol derived from biodiesel industry

Sivasankaran, Chozhavendhan; Ramanujam, Praveen Kumar; Shanmugam, Sivarathnakumar; Govindaraji, Kirubalini; Mani, Jayakumar
November 2016
Journal of Environmental Biology;2016 Special Issue, Vol. 37, p1529
Academic Journal
Biodiesel possesses the record of mostly investigated eco-friendly biofuels, which can be fashioned by transesterification of natural fatty acids. Large volume of waste stream glycerol is generated as a byproduct during the production of biofuel. Disposal of this glycerol without proper treatment in the environment is hazardous as it contains copious impurities like methanol, organic salts, free fatty acids and water. Alternatively, waste stream glycerol can be utilized as cheap carbon source for the production of high-value chemicals like ethanol, citric acid, propanediol etc. In this study, waste glycerol was partially purified to increase its concentration by sequential steps like distillation, acidification and adsorption process to utilize it effectively as carbon source for the microorganisms. The concentration of acidified glycerol treated with sulphuric acid was found to be high when compared with phosphoric acid. The glycerol rich phase was high in phosphoric acid and GC-MS studies also reveal that the phosphoric acid removes major impurities when compared with sulphuric acid. The purified glycerol obtained could be stored and used as a carbon source for the production of high value chemical.


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