Optimization on the Use of Crude Glycerol from the Biodiesel Production to Obtain Poly-3-Hydroxybutyrate

John A. Posada
Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Manizales, Colombia

Juan C. Higuita
Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Manizales, Colombia

Carlos A. Cardona
Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Manizales, Colombia

Ladda ner artikelhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3384/ecp11057327

Ingår i: World Renewable Energy Congress - Sweden; 8-13 May; 2011; Linköping; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 57:44, s. 327-334

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Publicerad: 2011-11-03

ISBN: 978-91-7393-070-3

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


The biotechnological production of poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) from crude glycerol obtained during the biodiesel production was techno-economically assessed. For the fermentation process; two different strains; Cupreavidus necator and Bacillus megaterium were considered. Moreover; three downstream processes for PHB separation and purification were analyzed. Thus; in total six biotechnological schemes to transform the crude glycerol obtained in the biodiesel industry were compared. Each biotechnological scheme considered five main process stages namely: (i) glycerol purification; (ii) glycerol fermentation to PHB; (iii) mass cell pretreatment; (iv) PHB isolation; and (v) PHB purification. Aspen Plus and Aspen Icarus were used for the processes simulation and for the economic assessment; respectively. During the processes simulation the crude glycerol stream was purified from 60 to 98 wt %; and the fermentation process was considered in two continuous stages where mass cell growth and PHB accumulation occurred; respectively. Also; the three downstream processes were based on: (i) heat pretreatment and chemical-enzymatic digestion; (ii) high pressure homogenizer and solvent extraction; and (iii) alkaline pretreatment and chemical-enzymatic digestion. Economic results showed that the best technological scheme uses C. necator for the fermentation stage; with a heat pretreatment and enzymatic-alkaline digestion for the downstream process.


Glycerol fermentation; PHB production; Process simulation; Process assessment


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