In the UK, two researchers at the University of Manchester have solved the problem of what to do with a global surplus of glycerol, a by-product from the biodiesel manufacturing process. The research was funded by the university, which has now secured a patent on the process.
Dr. Constantinos Theodoropoulos and Prof. Colin Webb from the University’s School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science have developed new uses for glycerol by using a bacteria to convert it into succinic acid, which is used in a variety of products from medicines to food flavors. They have also found how to do process glycerol on an industrial scale, which is predicted to lead to the construction of new biorefineries, making biodiesel production cheaper by generating revenue from the by-product.
More background on the story from the Digest