Glycerol to value-added chemicals: State of the art and advances in reaction engineering and kinetic modelling

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The boom of the biodiesel industry has led to an oversupply of by-product glycerol as a direct consequence, which has been detrimental to its market value. The chemical reactivity that this compound possesses makes it an exceptional building block from which many synthetic routes can originate. In the past two decades, as a way to upgrade glycerol, there have been great developments in experimental approaches to obtain different products with applications as fuel additives, green solvents or precursors to other materials. These works have focused mainly on the development of catalytic and biotechnological processes and optimization of operation conditions to obtain chemicals like glycerol carbonate, acetals, esters, ethers, 1,2- and 1,3-propanediol, acrolein, halogenated products and different organic acids. Throughout these years an increasing amount of articles have reported thermodynamic information and kinetic models for different reactions using glycerol of substrate, whose knowledge is essential for subsequent reactor and process design. For the first time, these aspects for transformation reactions from glycerol are compiled and presented in a systematic way in this comprehensive review that also touches on process intensification strategies to enhance glycerol conversion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108008
JournalFuel Processing Technology
Early online date21 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • Biofuels
  • Glycerol
  • Kinetic models
  • Process intensification
  • Thermodynamics
  • Value-added chemicals


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