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Effect of impurities in biodiesel-derived waste glycerol on the performance and feasibility of biotechnological processes

Chatzifragkou, A. ORCID: and Papanikolaou, S. (2012) Effect of impurities in biodiesel-derived waste glycerol on the performance and feasibility of biotechnological processes. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. ISSN 0175-7598

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00253-012-4111-3


The rapid development of biodiesel production technology has led to the generation of tremendous quantities of glycerol wastes, as the main by-product of the process. Stoichiometrically, it has been calculated that for every 100 kg of biodiesel, 10 kg of glycerol are produced. Based on the technology imposed by various biodiesel plants, glycerol wastes may contain numerous kinds of impurities such as methanol, salts, soaps, heavy metals and residual fatty acids. This fact often renders biodiesel-derived glycerol unprofitable for further purification. Therefore, the utilization of crude glycerol though biotechnological means represents a promising alternative for the effective management of this industrial waste. This review summarizes the effect of various impurities-contaminants that are found in biodiesel-derived crude glycerol upon its conversion by microbial strains in biotechnological processes. Insights are given concerning the technologies that are currently applied in biodiesel production, with emphasis to the impurities that are added in the composition of crude glycerol, through each step of the production process. Moreover, extensive discussion is made in relation with the impact of the nature of impurities upon the performances of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms, during crude glycerol bioconversions into a variety of high added-value metabolic products. Finally, aspects concerning ways of crude glycerol treatment for the removal of inhibitory contaminants as reported in the literature are given and comprehensively discussed

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Food Research Group
ID Code:55055

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