Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2017 Apr;24(11):10030-10040. doi: 10.1007/s11356-016-8097-8. Epub 2016 Nov 17.

Energy recovery from waste glycerol by utilizing thermal water vapor plasma.

Author information

Plasma Processing Laboratory, Lithuanian Energy Institute, Breslaujos str. 3, -44403, Kaunas, LT, Lithuania.
Plasma Processing Laboratory, Lithuanian Energy Institute, Breslaujos str. 3, -44403, Kaunas, LT, Lithuania.
Université de Haute-Alsace, Institut de Sciences des Matériaux de Mulhouse, 15 rue Jean Starcky, 68057, Mulhouse cedex, France.


Glycerol, considered as a waste feedstock resulting from biodiesel production, has received much attention in recent years due to its properties, which offer to recover energy. The aim of this study was to investigate the use of a thermal water vapor plasma for waste (crude) glycerol conversion to synthesis gas, or syngas (H2 + CO). In parallel of crude glycerol, a pure glycerol (99.5%) was used as a reference material in order to compare the concentrations of the formed product gas. A direct current (DC) arc plasma torch stabilized by a mixture of argon/water vapor was utilized for the effective glycerol conversion to hydrogen-rich synthesis gas. It was found that after waste glycerol treatment, the main reaction products were gases with corresponding concentrations of H2 50.7%, CO 23.53%, CO2 11.45%, and CH4 3.82%, and traces of C2H2 and C2H6, which concentrations were below 0.5%. The comparable concentrations of the formed gas products were obtained after pure glycerol conversion-H2 46.4%, CO 26.25%, CO2 11.3%, and CH4 4.7%. The use of thermal water vapor plasma producing synthesis gas is an effective method to recover energy from both crude and pure glycerol. The performance of the glycerol conversion system was defined in terms of the produced gas yield, the carbon conversion efficiency, the cold gas efficiency, and the specific energy requirements.


Energy; Glycerol; Synthesis gas; Thermal plasma; Waste; Water vapor

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center