Production of novel applicable derivatives from biodiesel glycerin

(De Gruyter) – Glycerin (glycerol) is a co-product of biodiesel production that is widely produced and is available at a low cost. To date, various applications have been investigated and introduced for biodiesel glycerin. The authors studied a number of valuable products produced using biodiesel glycerin and formic acid as the main reactants.

Allyl alcohol is one of the valuable chemicals produced from glycerin monoformate. Efficient production of this product requires successful completion of the first section of the reaction, which is an equilibrium reaction. The highest feasible yield achieved was about 83% (based on the consumption of formic acid) at 120–140°C without the addition of any catalysts. Also, the esterification reaction was further investigated at room temperature, where the equilibrium state was reached with a yield of 55% after only 4 h. Moreover, the addition of urea to the reaction with the aim of producing the other two side products, i.e. diformyl urea and glycerin carbonate, in addition to glycerin monoformate, was studied. The results showed that considerable amounts of applicable byproducts, e.g. formamid, are also produced, making the process even more economical.

An effort was made to optimize the esterification reaction of glycerin and formic acid. Different reactions parameters were altered such as the molar ratio of reactants, temperature, catalyst and duration of the reaction. Also, the addition of urea to the reactants, as a well-known compound for breaking H-bond and azeotrope mixtures, was experimentally investigated. In general, the production of various compounds such as allyl alcohol, glycerin monoformate, glycerin carbonate and diformyl urea were accomplished. The main analysis method used for evaluation of the reaction progress of the experiments was analytical titration. By this method, the yield of experiment was assessed based on the consumption rate of formic acid.

Eventually, the optimum conditions for this particular esterification were developed among the altered parameters.

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Edited for Content and Length by Dr. Matthew A. Hood.

The  full article can be found at De Gruyter in the journal of Green Processing and Synthesis.

2017 IMPACT FACOR 0.736

DOI: 10.1515/gps-2017-0028

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