Acrylic Acid from Glycerin

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  • Acrylic acid is derived presently from petroleum and is an important monomer in the industrial manufacture of plastics and other polymers. An alternate source of acrylic acid is in the bacterial fermentation of glycerol to 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde (3-HPA) and the subsequent oxidation of 3-HPA to acrylic acid.
  • One route of transformation of glycerol is its conversion to acrolein by the dehydration of this by-product. Acrolein is used as raw material for the
    production of acrylic acid, medicines, detergents, acrylic acid esters and fiber treatments among others.
  • Glycerol is a raw material derived from biomass; it has high oxygen content and being thermally unstable and can be transformed in oxygenated chemicals by deoxygenating processes.
  • The dehydration of glycerol into acrolein was quite sensitive to pressure in supercritical condition because of the variation of proton concentration
    with respect to the pressure in supercritical water.
  • The growth of today’s biodiesel industry has resulted in the development of a parallel glut of glycerol. While glycerol is potentially a structurally well-defined three carbon chemical intermediate, its traditional high cost has resulted in a lack of technology for conversion into other chemical compounds.

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