Canadian biodiesel producers might soon have a purer by-product from their refining operations. The University of Saskatchewan announced it has received a $500,000+ government grant to purify and convert raw glycerol more cost-effectively.
With this funding, researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), led by Canada Research Chair in Bioenergy and Environmentally Friendly Chemical Processing and Professor of Chemical Engineering, Ajay Dalai, will be able to purchase highly-specialized equipment for the development and commercialization of new, more efficient and affordable glycerol purification and conversion technologies.
While raw glycerol has limited commercial value, the U of S’ purification technology could double the price that companies can charge for the substance, in turn adding more value to biodiesel production.
“Our Government is pleased to support this collaborative project between industry and University of Saskatchewan,” said The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “Providing innovative technologies that will help increase the productivity and competitiveness of the biofuel and biochemical sectors in Western Canada.”
University officials say they plan to develop and file three patents: one for the purification technology, and two for the conversion technologies. A Saskatchewan start-up company is expected to manufacture all three technologies for commercial use, and subsequently market them.