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Bioresour Technol. 2012 May;111:282-93. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.01.151. Epub 2012 Feb 6.

Design and analysis of biorefineries based on raw glycerol: addressing the glycerol problem.

Author information

1
Instituto de Biotecnología y Agroindustria, Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Manizales, Cra. 27 No. 64-60, Manizales, Colombia.

Abstract

Glycerol as a low-cost by-product of the biodiesel industry can be considered a renewable building block for biorefineries. In this work, the conversion of raw glycerol to nine added-value products obtained by chemical (syn-gas, acrolein, and 1,2-propanediol) or bio-chemical (ethanol, 1,3-propanediol, d-lactic acid, succinic acid, propionic acid, and poly-3-hydroxybutyrate) routes were considered. The technological schemes for these synthesis routes were designed, simulated, and economically assessed using Aspen Plus and Aspen Icarus Process Evaluator, respectively. The techno-economic potential of a glycerol-based biorefinery system for the production of fuels, chemicals, and plastics was analyzed using the commercial Commercial Sale Price/Production Cost ratio criteria, under different production scenarios. More income can be earned from 1,3-propanediol and 1,2-propanediol production, while less income would be obtained from hydrogen and succinic acid. This analysis may be useful mainly for biodiesel producers since several profitable alternatives are presented and discussed.

PMID:
22349197
DOI:
10.1016/j.biortech.2012.01.151
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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