Feasibility study for industrial production of fuel additives from glycerol
Glycerol, the main by-product of biodiesel production, has been considered a renewable chemical for largescale production of a new potent fuel-additive, namely solketal tertbutyl ether (STBE). Delta Biovalue BV, a major biodieselmanufacturer in the European Union, Corning Incorporated, a manufacturer of modular Advanced-FlowTM glass reactors andSynBioC, a research group with a long-standing interest and know-how in flow and renewable chemistry have collaboratedto develop a new process aimed at performing the transformation of glycerol in STBE under flow conditions. The advantagesof the highly engineered Corning reactor system, including: high mixing, heat-exchange efficiencies under corrosive flowconditions with low liquid hold-up and high throughput, allowed the development and the intensification of a two-step processwith 83 percent global yield. The final goal of this project is to develop a robust, green and safe process being able to produce~12,000 t/y STBE.