Scientists Develop Method to Convert Glycerol Into Value Added Chemicals

Indian scientists have now developed a technique to break down glycerol, a biodiesel manufacturing byproduct, into commercially useful products using bacterial strains.

Biodiesel production is generally expensive due to cost of disposal of crude glycerol. Its economics can be improved by downstream processing of glycerol which is a highly functional molecule. Value added chemicals possible from glycerol are 1,2- and 1,3 – propanediols, ethylene glycol, which have wide industrial applications.

The team of scientists from the Chemical Engineering and Process Development Division and the National Collection of Industrial Microorganisms Center, National Chemical Laboratory have identified two bacterial strains which can use crude glycerol as carbon source to produce value-added chemicals.

Researchers used a mixed bacterial culture to ferment crude bioglycerol under aerobic conditions. The bacterial strains used were Enterobacter aerogenes NCIM 2695 and Klebsialla pneumoniae NCIM 5215. These strains, when used together, can lead to 100% transformation of crude glycerol.


This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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