Improving the decolorization of glycerol by adsorption using activated carbon derived from oil palm biomass

Abstract

This study provides insight into the decolorization strategy for crude glycerol obtained from biodiesel production using waste cooking oil as raw material. A sequential procedure that includes physico-chemical treatment and adsorption using activated carbon from oil palm biomass was investigated. The results evidenced decolorization and enrichment of glycerol go hand in hand during the treatment, achieving >89% color removal and > 98% increase in glycerol content, turning the glycerol into a clear (colorless) solution. This is attributed to the complete removal of methanol, free fatty acids, and triglycerides, as well as 85% removal of water, and 93% removal of potassium. Properties of the resultant glycerol met the quality standard of BS 2621:1979. The economic aspects of the proposed methods are examined to fully construct a predesign budgetary estimation according to chemical engineering principles. The starting capital is proportionate to the number of physical assets to acquire where both entail a considerable cost at USD 13,200. Having the benefit of sizeable scale production, it reasonably reduces the operating cost per unit product. As productivity sets at 33 m3 per annum, the annual operating costs amount to USD 79,902 in glycerol decolorization. This is translatable to USD 5.38 per liter glycerol, which is ~69% lower compared to using commercial activated carbon.

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Data availability

Data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article (any additional raw data may be provided upon reasonable request).

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Funding

This study is funded by the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme – Malaysia’s Research Star Award (FRGS-MRSA) (Grant No: 5540052) by the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) and the marching grant of the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) (Vot No: 6300156).

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Funding acquisition: M.A.H. Conception and design: M.A.H., A.M.R., H.A., and Y.S. Data analysis and interpretation: M.A.A.F., M.N.F.N., and M.R.O. Drafting and revising the article: M.A.A.F., M.A.H, and A.M.R. Supervision: M.A.H.

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Correspondence to Mohd Ali Hassan.

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Ahmad Farid, M.A., Hassan, M.A., Roslan, A.M. et al. Improving the decolorization of glycerol by adsorption using activated carbon derived from oil palm biomass. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12585-7

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Keywords

  • Glycerol
  • Decolorization
  • Activated carbon
  • Oil palm Biomass
  • Responsible Editor: Angeles Blanco