Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 6, 2007
Publication Date: October 1, 2008
Citation: Ashby, R.D., Wyatt, V.T., Foglia, T., Solaiman, D. 2008. Industrial Products from Biodiesel Glycerol. In: Hou, C.T., Shaw, J-F., editors. Biocatalysis and Bioenergy. Hoboken, NJ:John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 131-154. Technical Abstract: The rise in cost of petroleum fuels has caused an increased interest in alternative fuels. This has resulted in a worldwide surge in the use of biodiesel, a renewable fuel derived from oils and fats, with world production projected to approach 1 billion gallons by the end of 2006. This rapid growth in biodiesel production is accompanied, however, by increased glycerol supplies, the major coproduct of biodiesel production. This increase in availability of glycerol lowers its value and adversely impacts biodiesel economics. Accordingly, it is desirable to find new outlets for glycerol. To this end we have undertaken a dual approach program that utilizes glycerol from biodiesel production as 1) a fermentation feedstock for the microbial production of biodegradable polymers and surfactants; and 2) the chemical synthesis of glycerol-based hyperbranched polymers and/or reactive glycerol esters. In the first approach two distinct types of poly(hydroxyalkanoates) (bacterial polyesters) were produced by different strains of Pseudomonas grown on glycerol. Sophorolipid biosurfactants were produced by the yeast Candida bombicola using glycerol and a fat or oil as growth substrates. In the second approach, novel oligomeric prepolymers were synthesized by acid-catalyzed condensation of glycerol with iminodiacetic, azelaic, or succinic acid. Hyperbranching was evident in the oligomers produced when using azelaic acid and succinic acid as co-monomers with glycerol whereas the reaction between iminodiacetic acid and glycerol resulted in linear products.