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Open AccessArticle

Value-Added Products from Urea Glycerolysis Using a Heterogeneous Biosolids-Based Catalyst

Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, 410 Ag/For Building, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P5, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Catalysts 2018, 8(9), 373;
Received: 2 August 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 4 September 2018
PDF [3438 KB, uploaded 4 September 2018]


Although thermal hydrolysis of digested biosolids is an extremely promising strategy for wastewater management, the process economics are prohibitive. Here, a biosolids-based material generated through thermal hydrolysis was used as a catalyst for urea glycerolysis performed under several conditions. The catalytic system showed remarkable activity, reaching conversion values of up to 70.8 ± 0.9% after six hours, at 140 °C using a catalyst/glycerol weight ratio of 9% and an air stream to remove NH3 formed during the process. Temperature played the most substantial role among reaction parameters; increasing temperature from 100 °C to 140 °C improved conversion by 35% and glycidol selectivity by 22%. Furthermore, the catalyst retained good activity even after the fourth catalytic run (conversion rate of 56.4 ± 1.3%) with only a slight decrease in glycidol selectivity. Thus, the use of a biosolids-based catalyst may facilitate conversion of various glycerol sources (i.e., byproduct streams from biodiesel production) into value-added products such as glycidol, and may also improve the economic feasibility of using thermal hydrolysis for treatment of biosolids. View Full-Text
Keywords: biosolids; urea glycerolysis; glycidol; glycerol carbonate; catalyst biosolids; urea glycerolysis; glycidol; glycerol carbonate; catalyst

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Bartoli, M.; Zhu, C.; Chae, M.; Bressler, D.C. Value-Added Products from Urea Glycerolysis Using a Heterogeneous Biosolids-Based Catalyst. Catalysts 2018, 8, 373.

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