Volume 86 Issue 6 | p. 29 | Concentrates
Issue Date: February 11, 2008

Partners Debut Method For Purifying Glycerin

Department: Business

Rohm and Haas and France's Groupe Novasep have formed a partnership to market new technology for purifying crude glycerin, which is made as a by-product during biodiesel production. The technology combines Rohm and Haas's expertise in specialty polymer resins and Novasep's capabilities in chromatographic separations. Roughly three-quarters of a pound of glycerin is generated every time vegetable oil and alcohol are reacted to form a gallon of biodiesel. The crude glycerin generally contains high levels of residual catalyst salts as well as other impurities. According to the partners, costly distillation methods are often used for purification. "The availability of crude glycerin has increased exponentially with the rapid growth in the biodiesel industry, and we hope this will be a welcome solution to reduce costs for biodiesel producers, glycerin refiners, and processors," says Kim Ann Mink, Rohm and Haas's global general manager for ion-exchange resins. The National Biodiesel Board estimates that 450 million gal of biodiesel were sold in the U.S. in 2007. Production capacity already totals about 2.2 billion gal and it is expected to grow more than 50% within about 18 months.

 
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