Glycerol-Based Carbon Acid and Base Catalysts for Green Processes

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Glycerol-based solid acid and base heterogeneous carbon catalysts were developed from crude glycerol (by-product of biodiesel process)/glycerol pitch (waste from fat splitting industry) and also from commercial glycerol. The catalysts developed from biodiesel by-product i.e. glycerol were in turn employed for the production of biodiesel by replacing traditionally used homogeneous sulfuric acid and alkali catalysts, thus making the biodiesel process green and economically more profitable.

The glycerol-based carbon catalyst economically strengthens the biodiesel & fat splitting industry with new application to glycerol.

The catalyst reduces the effluent load by avoiding sulfuric acid during esterification/ acylation and also for wide variety of synthetic methodologies as a green catalyst.

The catalyst is very stable and can be recycled several times (>6 cycles).

These catalyst based reactions may lead to cleaner industrial processes in several areas l ike oleochemicals (biodiesel, fuel additives, lubricants etc.), pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, agrochemicals etc., by reducing liquid e ffluents.

The catalyst was further modified as base catalyst for transesterification of oils to biodiesel & also for the preparation of Glycerol carbonate


Major Raw Materials


Glycerol and sulfuric acid


Brief Process Description


Glycerol-based carbon acid catalyst is prepared from glycerol and sulfuric acid in a single pot reaction. Latter acid catalyst is modified to base catalyst again in a single pot reaction.


Scale of Demonstration


50 g of Glycerol/batch


Status of Commercialization


Looking forward for industry collaboration for upscaling



•  Carbon-based Soild Acid Catalyst: US08445400 (21-05-2013); AU2007357284 (26-07-2012); Indonesia, IDP0032300 (13-11-2012); IN2623409 (14-08-2014); & German Patent DE112007003607 (17/08/2017)

•  Carbon-based Soild Base Catalyst : Indian Patent Application No.2291DEL2011 (08-12-2011)


For further information please contact


CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology
Uppal Road, Tarnaka,
Hyderabad - 500 007
Phone: +91-40-21791623