The key objective of the glycerol upgrading project is to convert low-value, bio-derived glycerol, which is a by-product of biodiesel manufacture, into high-value chemical derivatives such as 2,3 epoxy-propanol (EP).
Replacing hazardous and inefficient processes
EP is traditionally produced by using petrochemically derived and hazardous materials with inefficient and dangerous manufacturing processes, which has subsequently resulted in a high cost price for EP. EP has current applications in areas such as surfactants for enhanced oil recovery, additives for coatings and epoxy resins, solvents for CO2 capture and storage and in the manufacture of various speciality chemicals but it also has huge potential in a wide range of applications including active pharmaceutical ingredients and polyurethane foams if a more economical, greener route to EP can be developed.
High Yields and Selectivity to EP
GLT has invented a two stage production pathway to EP from glycerol using highly innovative, greener chemistries and reactor designs that are capable of producing high yields and selectivity to EP. GLT has already demonstrated the process for producing EP at lab pilot scale and we have recently purchased a demonstration plant which, following some modifications, will allow us to scale-up the technology to produce 100kg/day.
We hope to have the demo-plant running 24/7 within the next 9 months after which we will proceed to the design and build of a full scale 10,000 T per annum commercial plant. Read more about the demo-plant in The Chemical Engineer: