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Syngas Production and Optimization from Glycerol Pyrolysis

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Biodiesel (alkyls esters) is a clean burning fuel derived from renewable lipid feedstock such as vegetable oil or animal fat. Glycerol is a by-product from the biodiesel production which represents 10% of product total mass. Due to the present-day high demand for biodiesel, the glycerol availability has increased, while its market price decreased substantially. The glycerol pyrolysis is a promising way to produce biofuels such as hydrogen and syngas (feedstock used in synthetic fuels production via Fisher-Tropsch reaction) and avoids its accumulation in the environment. Glycerol pyrolysis is carried out in a fixed bed reactor filled with alumina oxide. The packing material diameter was varied between 0.5-0.85 millimeters. The reaction temperature was varied in the range of 750-850°C, the reaction time from 20 to 40 min, glycerol quantity from 1 to 3 mL and flow rate of carrier gas from 10 to 50 ml/min. The process parameters listed above (factors) were used to evaluate the syngas production yield. The best results, on average, were over 80 % v/v of glycerol for gas products and among them the highest amount of gas were of H2 e CO. Besides these gases, CO2, CH4, C2H4 and C3H8 were also obtained in smaller proportions
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