Glycerol Separation from Biodiesel by Membrane Technology

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Sudpratthana Thirati
Paveena Pludprak
Yanyong Sukklay
Weerinda Appamana
Juraivan Ratanapisit


In the present study, glycerol separation from biodiesel by ultrafiltration membrane technology was studied. Feeds as oil/glycerol in 97:3 proportion (v/v) were filtrated in a dead-end process at different transmembrane pressures. The experiments were carried out with polyethersulfone (PES) membranes of different molecular weight cut-off. Results showed that greater pore sizes, as well as greater transmembrane pressures, enable greater fluxes. However, permeate fluxes of UP 150 and UH030 membranes at 8 bar indicated an increased trend for the membranes to clog up at high pressure. The optimal operating condition of ultrafiltration by membrane UH030 at 6 bar was efficient in removing free glycerol, since the high value of stabilize permeate flux was 0.0156 g/min.cm2 and glycerol rejection was 93.11%. Also the fouling mechanism was analyzed by the Hermia’s model. Results showed that the pore blocking model played dominate part for UP150, UP010 and UP005 while the cake layer was significant for UH030. This work concludes that membrane technology is a possible alternative for biodiesel purification.

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Thirati, S. ., Pludprak, P. ., Sukklay, Y. ., Appamana, W. ., & Ratanapisit, J. (2018). Glycerol Separation from Biodiesel by Membrane Technology. Journal of Engineering, RMUTT, 16(2), 37–46. Retrieved from
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