Merck

Conversion of glycerol to hydrogen rich gas.

Chemical Society reviews (2013-09-18)
Nguyen H Tran, G S Kamali Kannangara
ABSTRACT

Presently there is a glut of glycerol as the by-product of biofuel production and it will grow as production increases. The conundrum is how we can consume this material and convert it into a more useful product. One potential route is to reform glycerol to hydrogen rich gas including synthesis gas (CO + H2) and hydrogen. However, there is recent literature on various reforming techniques which may have a bearing on the efficiency of such a process. Hence in this review reforming of glycerol at room temperature (normally photo-catalytic), catalysis at moderate and high temperature and a non-catalytic pyrolysis process are presented. The high temperature processes allow the generation of synthesis gas with the hydrogen to carbon monoxide ratios being suitable for synthesis of dimethyl ether, methanol and for the Fischer-Tropsch process using established catalysts. Efficient conversion of synthesis gas to hydrogen involves additional catalysts that assist the water gas shift reaction, or involves in situ capture of carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Reforming at reduced temperatures including photo-reforming offers the opportunity of producing synthesis gas or hydrogen using single catalysts. Together, these processes will assist in overcoming the worldwide glut of glycerol, increasing the competitiveness of the biofuel production and reducing our dependency on the fossil based, hydrogen rich gas.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Glycerol, BioReagent, suitable for cell culture, suitable for insect cell culture, suitable for electrophoresis, ≥99% (GC)
Sigma-Aldrich
Glycerol, ≥99.5%
Sigma-Aldrich
Glycerol, BioXtra, ≥99% (GC)
Sigma-Aldrich
Glycerol, for molecular biology, ≥99.0%
Sigma-Aldrich
Glycerol, FCC, FG
Sigma-Aldrich
Glycerol, BioUltra, for molecular biology, anhydrous, ≥99.5% (GC)
Sigma-Aldrich
Glycerol, tested according to Ph. Eur., anhydrous
Sigma-Aldrich
Glycerol, Vetec, reagent grade, 99%
Sigma-Aldrich
Glycerol, puriss., meets analytical specification of Ph. Eur., BP, USP, FCC, E422, anhydrous, 99.0-101.0% (alkalimetric)
Sigma-Aldrich
Glycerol, ReagentPlus®, ≥99.0% (GC)
Sigma-Aldrich
Glycerol, ACS reagent, ≥99.5%
Supelco
Glycerol, analytical standard
Sigma-Aldrich
Glycerol, puriss. p.a., ACS reagent, anhydrous, dist., ≥99.5% (GC)
Sigma-Aldrich
Glycerin, meets USP testing specifications
Sigma-Aldrich
Glycerol solution, 83.5-89.5% (T)
Supelco
Glycerin, Pharmaceutical Secondary Standard; Certified Reference Material
Sigma-Aldrich
Glycerol solution, puriss., meets analytical specification of Ph. Eur., BP, 84-88%
Sigma-Aldrich
Glycerol solution, puriss. p.a., 86-89% (T)
Supelco
ASTM® D6584 Glycerin solution, 500 μg/mL in pyridine, analytical standard