Anaerobic Digestion of Glycerol

Thursday, November 11, 2010: 9:58 AM
Grand Ballroom H (Marriott Downtown)
Adam Hoffman1, Kenneth R. Muske1, Metin Duran2 and Cheol Park2, (1)Department of Chemical Engineering, Villanova University, Villanova, PA, (2)Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Villanova University, PA

Waste glycerol is a byproduct from biodiesel production and its generation increases year after year. This study investigates the possibility of anaerobic digestion of glycerol waste, which can result in beneficial energy recovery, methane. Glycerol wastes from different biodiesel production processes including acidic and basic condition were tested and their results were compared with methane production from pure glycerol for any adverse impacts. The test has been done in bench scale serum bottle reactors with a total volume of 165mL. The results show that all tested concentrations recovered roughly 80% of theoretical methane production based on COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) measurement and the sources of glycerol waste did not play an important role in overall results. After the completion of anaerobic digestion study, mathematical models were developed to predict a performance of anaerobic digestion of glycerol waste in a batch reactor. Even though the predictive models developed in the research may be valid only in the studied condition, the mathematical models may be able to yield predictive models for continuous reactors as well.

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See more of this Session: Alternative Fuels and Enabling Technologies III
See more of this Group/Topical: Fuels and Petrochemicals Division