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Hydrothermal conversion of glycerol to chemicals and hydrogen: review and perspective

Authors

  • Yun-Duo Long,

    1. Chinese Academy of Sciences, Biomass Group, Laboratory of Tropical Plant Resource Science, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China and University of Science and Technology of China, School of Life Science, Hefei, Anhui Province, China
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  • Zhen Fang

    Corresponding author
    1. Chinese Academy of Sciences, Biomass Group, Laboratory of Tropical Plant Resource Science, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China
    • Chinese Academy of Sciences, Biomass Group, Laboratory of Tropical Plant Resource Science, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China and University of Science and Technology of China, School of Life Science, Hefei, Anhui Province, China
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Correspondence to: Zhen Fang, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Biomass Group, Laboratory of Tropical Plant Resource Science, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, 88 Xuefulu, Kunming, Yunnan Province 650223, China. E-mail: zhenfang@xtbg.ac.cn

Abstract

Abstract: As biodiesel production worldwide is expanding dramatically, its main by-product glycerol (accounting for 10 wt% of total products) should find other applications by converting it to value-added products. Hydrothermal process is used in the conversion of glycerol to acrolein, lactic acid, and other promising commodity chemicals. This review mainly focuses on the hydrothermal conversion of glycerol to chemicals in sub- and super-critical water with acid /base catalysts or without catalysts. Hydrothermal gasification of glycerol to hydrogen is also covered. Furthermore, the mechanisms of hydrothermal conversion of glycerol under different conditions are introduced. The problems and future perspective for the practical applications of glycerol are also discussed. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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