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Bio-Propane from glycerol for biogas addition
Växjö University, Faculty of Mathematics/Science/Technology, School of Technology and Design.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4162-3680
2008 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this report, the technical and economical feasibility to produce higher alkanes from bioglycerol has been investigated. The main purpose of producing this kind of chemicals would be to replace the fossil LPG used in upgraded biogas production. When producing biogas and exporting it to the natural gas grid, the Wobbe index and heating value does not match the existing natural gas. Therefore, the upgraded biogas that is put into the natural gas grid in Sweden today contains 8-10 vol-% of LPG. The experimental work performed in association to this report has shown that it is possible to produce propane from glycerol. However, the production of ethane from glycerol may be even more advantageous. The experimental work has included developing and testing catalysts for several intermediate reactions. The work was performed using different micro-scale reactors with a liquid feed rate of 18 g/h. The first reaction, independent on if propane or ethane is to be produced, is dehydration of glycerol to acrolein. This was showed during 60 h on an acidic catalyst with a yield of 90%. The production of propanol, the second intermediate to producing propane, was shown as well. Propanol was produced both using acrolein as the starting material as well as glycerol (combining the first and second step) with yields of 70-80% in the first case and 65-70% in the second case. The propanol produced was investigated for its dehydration to propene, witha yield of 70-75%. By using a proprietary, purposely developed catalyst the propene was hydrogenated to propane, with a yield of 85% from propanol. The formation of propane from glycerol was finally investigated, with an overall yield of 55%.

The second part of the experimental work performed investigated the possibilities of decarbonylating acrolein to form ethane. This was made possible by the development of a proprietary catalyst which combines decarbonylation and water-gas shift functionality. By combining these two functionalities, no hydrogen have to be externally produced which is the case of the propane produced. The production of ethane from acrolein was shown with a yield of 75%, while starting from glycerol yielded 65-70% ethane using the purposely developed catalyst. However, in light of this there are still work to be performed with optimizing catalyst compositions and process conditions to further improve the process yield. The economic feasibility and the glycerol supply side of the proposed process have been investigated as well within the scope of the report. After an initial overview of the glycerol supply, it is apparent that at least the addition of alkanes to biogas can be saturated by glycerol for the Swedish market situation at the moment and for a foreseeable future. The current domestic glycerol production would sustain the upgraded biogas industry for quite some time, if necessary. However, from a cost standpoint a lower grade glycerol should perhaps be considered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Svenskt gastekniskt center , 2008. , p. 24
Series
Rapport SGC, ISSN 1102-7371 ; 198
Keywords [en]
bio-propane bio-propene bio-propanol glycerol acrolein catalytic conversion
National Category
Chemical Process Engineering
Research subject
Technology (byts ev till Engineering), Bioenergy Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-3997ISRN: SGC-R-198-SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:vxu-3997DiVA, id: diva2:203954
Available from: 2009-01-07 Created: 2009-01-07 Last updated: 2015-11-16Bibliographically approved

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Brandin, Jan

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