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Integrated biodiesel facilities: review of glycerol-based production of fuels and chemicals

Abstract

Glycerol as raw material for further use within biorefineries has been evaluated by reviewing and comparing several processes, mostly from the literature but also a few developed for this work. The evaluation of these processes for transforming glycerol into fuels and chemicals includes their economics and the influence of main process design parameters. The possibility of reusing those chemicals within the biorefinery complex provides further integration possibilities. Various chemical complexes have been described from the literature, and a new process to obtain acrolein is developed. On the one hand, high added-value products allow a biodiesel production cost rather competitive. However, this reduces the integration opportunities and even the fuel yield from oil. On the other hand, for biorefineries to be attractive, a combination of yield and economics needs to be achieved. It looks like a distributed production is so far preferable, based on the current studies. But a more comprehensive supply chain study should be developed to evaluate and integrate biodiesel production plants and processes in a territory.

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Acknowledgements

The authors also thank the Salamanca Research for software licences and the project DPI2015-67341-C2-1-R.

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Almena, A., Bueno, L., Díez, M. et al. Integrated biodiesel facilities: review of glycerol-based production of fuels and chemicals. Clean Techn Environ Policy 20, 1639–1661 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10098-017-1424-z

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Keywords

  • Biofuels
  • Biodiesel
  • Glycerol
  • Process integration