Glycerol Reforming for Syngas and Hydrogen Production

The significant increase in biodiesel production worldwide has resulted in the vast availability of crude glycerol. The conversion of this byproduct glycerol into higher value products could significantly improve the feasibility of continued growth in biodiesel production.  In particular, coupling synthesis gas (H2 and CO) from glycerol and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis provides a path to liquid fuels giving economic incentive as well as increase fuel flexibility. This project has looked at catalysts for the steam reforming of glycerol as a means of producing a hydrogen rich synthesis gas stream.  Specifically we are interesting in the effect if impurities on the catalyst lifetime and the yield of hydrogen.  We are looking at different pretreatments to the crude glycerin to minimize the necessary glycerol processing while maintaining catalyst performance.  In addition to the smaller scale reforming reactions that are conducted we are working in collaboration with Dr. Chris Depcik in Mechanical Engineering to evaluate larger scale reforming of glycerin for power generation.


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