Electrolytic refining of crude glycerine

The Challenge / Concern:

Glycerine is byproduct of transesterification while producing methyl esters. Crude glycerine production has a surge in last decade due to boom is biodiesel plants. Due to insufficient purity, crude glycerine finds no significant application. Hence effective methods for refining of glycerine are desired.

Brief (and non-confidential) Solution

Typical approaches for refining of glycerin are space and capital intensive. Simple process was anticipated with lesser handling and utilities. Electrolysis offers a better approach to precipitate impurities. Thus we checked efficacy of different electrode materials including graphite, steel, zinc and aluminium at moderate constant voltages. Electrodes of different textures and porosities were compared. The optimum configuration lead to excellently pure glycerine after 15 minutes retention. With the free fatty acid precipitation, electrolytic approach was capable to produce pure glycerine of technical grade with economically advantageous process.

Service / Project: Contract Research

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