Glycerol (Glycerin) is a by-product of the petrochemical, animal fat and vegetable oil-based biodiesel industries. However, crude glycerol derived from biodiesel production is of low value because of impurities. Further refining of crude glycerol depends on the economics and the availability of facilities. Larger scale biodiesel producers refine their crude glycerol and market it to other industries.
Glycerol is generally treated and refined through filtration, chemical additions and fractional vacuum distillation, yielding a variety of commercial grades. When destined to be used in food, cosmetics and drugs, further purification such as bleaching, deodorizing, and ion-exchange will be required to remove trace properties.
Vaisala K-PATENTS® Process Refractometer PR-43-GP is installed at the inlet and the outlet of the evaporator. The continuous information from the refractometer helps to achieve the target glycerol concentration, improve evaporation efficiency and reduce energy cost.
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