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Green fermentation process: From waste feedstock to high value chemicals

Date:
November 2, 2015
Source:
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Summary:
Researchers have developed a novel anaerobic undefined mixed culture fermentation process to produce high value chemicals from glycerol and volatile fatty acids in waste water.
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Researchers in Hong Kong have developed a novel anaerobic undefined mixed culture fermentation process to produce high value chemicals from glycerol and volatile fatty acids in waste water.

Glycerol is a low value by-product in bio-diesel production. The production ratio of glycerol to bio-diesel is 1:10. Researchers at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HK PolyU) developed a novel anaerobic undefined mixed culture fermentation process to produce high value chemicals from glycerol and volatile fatty acids in waste water.

In the fermentation process, glycerol provide electron to convert fatty acids into n-Caproic acid, which is a basic industrial chemical widely used in artificial flavour, medicine, and lubricant manufacturing. Its energy density is 700 times higher than that of gas methane, and is 1.2 times that of liquid ethanol. That its water solubility (1.1 g/100 mL at 20 °C) is low makes it easily recovered by distillation. At the same time, another high value chermical 1,3-propanediol is produced, which is used in polymers manufacture.

In addition to converting wastes into high value raw materials, this green fermentation process can also be used to treat wastewater.


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Materials provided by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


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The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. "Green fermentation process: From waste feedstock to high value chemicals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151102084623.htm>.
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. (2015, November 2). Green fermentation process: From waste feedstock to high value chemicals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151102084623.htm
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. "Green fermentation process: From waste feedstock to high value chemicals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151102084623.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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