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Reforming of Crude Glycerine in Supercritical Water to Produce Methanol for Re-Use in Biodiesel Plants

Objective

Biodiesel is produced by transesterification of vegetable oils with methanol. Glycerine is a major by-product of the transesterification process. Due to the rapid increase in biodiesel production capacity in Europe also the amount of glycerine has increased rapidly. The overall project objective is to produce methanol from crude glycerine, and re-use the methanol in the biodiesel plant. This project aims to improve the energy balance, carbon performance, sustainability and overall economics of biodiesel production. The work expands on expertise generated by the consortium on reforming of glycerine in supercritical water, and to produce a synthesis gas suitable for direct once-through methanol synthesis (GtM - Glycerine to Methanol). Producers will be less dependent on the methanol spot price, there is a (partial) security of methanol supply, and their by-product is used as a green, sustainable feedstock. Further development of the GtM technology should result in an economically viable process at the scale of the biodiesel plant (3,000-10,000 t glycerine/y). There are 2 secondary objectives. Firstly: To demonstrate the complete GtM process on laboratory and pilot plant scale. Specific targets are to achieve glycerine conversions >90%, and to produce a syngas with H2/CO > 1. The overall target is a yield of 50 wt% methanol from glycerine (energy efficiency > 70%). Secondly, to prepare a detailed design for a full-scale methanol production facility integrated in a biodiesel production plant, and establish production costs for the super methanol. Target is to produce methanol at a price below 250 EUR/tonne. The project involves 2 SME’s in the field of thermo-chemical processes, 2 industrial companies in the field of biodiesel production and high-pressure technologies, and 3 academic partners highly skilled in catalysts development, thermodynamics and process modelling.
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Coordinator

B.T.G. BIOMASS TECHNOLOGY GROUP BV

Address

Josink Esweg 34
7545 Pn Enschede

Netherlands

Activity type

Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)

EU Contribution

€ 699 943

Administrative Contact

John Vos (Mr.)

Participants (6)

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ACCIONA SERVICIOS URBANOS SRL

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 219 600

BORESKOV INSTITUTE OF CATALYSIS, SIBERIAN BRANCH OF RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

Russia

EU Contribution

€ 149 652

RIJKSUNIVERSITEIT GRONINGEN

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 446 949

UNIVERZA V MARIBORU

Slovenia

EU Contribution

€ 226 152

UHDE HIGH PRESSURE TECHNOLOGIES GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 189 580

SPARQLE INTERNATIONAL B.V.

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 161 538

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 212180

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 January 2008

  • End date

    31 December 2011

Funded under:

FP7-ENERGY

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 997 449

  • EU contribution

    € 2 093 414

Coordinated by:

B.T.G. BIOMASS TECHNOLOGY GROUP BV

Netherlands