Continuous-Flow Reactor System for Improved Catalytic Glycerol Conversion
Converting the surplus, low-quality glycerol from biodiesel production to valuable products remains an active yet challenging topic in both the industry and research community. Our ongoing, NIATT-supported research has shown promising progress in converting catalytically such crude glycerol to alcohols. Improving productivity of the glycerol conversion becomes a logical next step. The continuous catalytic reactor system has been proven effective in increasing the productivity in other chemical conversion processes. Our goal in this proposed research is to improve the process efficiency of glycerol conversion by further developing the ongoing project into a continuous catalytic reactor system.
This applied research will focus on determining the applicability of the thermochemical conversion of glycerol in a continuous flow catalytic reactor system and to investigate the effects of process parameters on process productivity and product yield. The existing pressure reactor system will be modified and developed into a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) for this proposed research. The outcome of this project will contribute to a better understanding and improvement of the process towards a viable technology. It will also provide a great opportunity to train undergraduate and graduate students for the rapidly expanding biofuel industry.