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Process For Converting the Low Value Glycerol Co-Product from Biodiesel Production Into High Value Polyglycerol
Phone: (303) 940-2341
Title: Vice President
Phone: (303) 940-2300
This project will develop and evaluate a new process for converting glycerol (the by-product of biodiesel
production) into a higher value product, polyglycerols. Polyglycerols are non-toxic and can be used as
environmentally friendly plasticizers in biodegradable plastics, and also in lubricants or as additives in food
and cosmetics. Biodiesel production processes generate about 9% glycerol by volume as a co-product and
the rapidly expanding global production of biodiesel has caused the price of glycerol to rapidly decrease to
the point where it is now a waste. The loss of value for this significant co-product is hurting the profitability
of biodiesel production and a new more valuable use for glycerol is needed.
The anticipated results include a new catalytic process for converting low-value glycerol into high value,
environmentally friendly polyglycerols. The catalytic processes will use new size-selective polymer catalysts
that will preferentially form the highest value polyglycerols (the dimer and trimer of glycerol) and prevent
unwanted high molecular weight polyglycerol from forming.
By developing a process to generate more revenue from the glycerol waste stream, this project will help to
increase the production reduce the cost of biodiesel, and benefit soybean growers, and animal farmers who
can sell their oil and fat products to biodiesel producers. The process will be suitable for large-scale
continuous operations that can compete against petroleum-based diesel, thus helping to reduce the
Nations dependence on foreign oil.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *