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Crude Glycerin is a byproduct of Biodiesel production. Every gallon of Biodiesel produced generates approximately 1 pound of glycerin. There are numerous uses for refined glycerin, depending on the level of purity. Technical grade glycerin can be used to manufacture paint, epoxy resins, plastics, foam products, paper reinforcing agents, fiberglass resins, non-toxic antifreeze and deicers. Pharmaceutical grade glycerin (99.7%+ purity) can be found in numerous personal care products such as glycerin soap, liquid pump soap products, liquid detergents, cosmetics, toothpaste, mouth wash, shaving cream, skin care products and cough syrup. Glycerin may also be incorporated into animal feed.
Glycerin is water soluble and biodegradable unlike petroleum based waste oils, glycerin is totally biodegradable and water soluble. This is a huge benefit, especially during transportation and storage. EPA regulations limit the hauling of petroleum based waste oils to 55 gallons, unless a hazardous material license is obtained. Any spills of waste oil, even if legally hauled, are governed by HAZ-MAT regulations and procedures.
In the United States, there are few (if any) regulations concerning the non-commercial hauling and storage of crude glycerin. Being biodegradable, glycerin spills can be either absorbed or washed away. Even the ash from burning glycerin is water soluble, making the cleaning of heating and handling equipment an easy task.
Please check your local regulations concerning the handling and transportation of glycerin.
What is Glycerin?
Glycerin (Glycerol) is a clear, odorless, viscous liquid with a naturally sweet taste. It is derived from both natural and petrochemical feedstocks. Glycerin occurs in combined form (triglycerides) in animal fats and vegetable oils and is obtained from these fats and oils during trans esterification, such as in biodiesel production.
Glycerin currently has over 1500 known uses in many different industries ranging from foods, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics (USP grade glycerin) to paints, coatings and other industrial types of applications (technical grade glycerin). It continues to be one of the most versatile and valuable byproducts created during biodiesel production.
Glycerin in Biodiesel
Glycerin naturally occurs during the biodiesel production process and is specifically produced in the transesterification process. The glycerin produced at this stage is crude glycerin and is about 80% pure still containing contaminants like soap, methanol and water. In order to turn this crude glycerin into a usable state for existing or emerging uses, a purification process must take place. During this refinement process residual organic matter, water, salt, methanol, and odors are removed.
There are many different types of glycerin grades ranging from crude glycerin to refined glycerin (pharmaceutical grade).
Other names for glycerin:
- glycyl alcohol
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