Biodiesel and SVO Forums Home
ethanol from glycerine

This topic can be found at:

February 13, 2010, 03:53 PM
ethanol from glycerine
I'm working on a 35 gallon distiller and came across this last week. Two Rice University professors were using an E.coli variant to break down waste biodiesel glycerol into ethanol and formic acid. Simplified, water, glycerol and bacteria are mixed and allowed to digest/ferment, distill ethanol, dispose of formic acid. I have found three texts all sourcing the same document.
Has anyone tried this or have any insight as to volume ratios, temperatures, variants, etc. It seems like a better use of glycerine for me.

April 11, 2010, 07:56 PM
no, but if find out more please share.
like where to get the e.coli they used..


'84 bluebird school bus, DD8.2L turbo( 4/2011, the bus tranny has died..Frown 8.23.11 bus driven to scrap yard Frown )
2006 Jeep Liberty CRD Smile - the wife's
99 dodge 2500 5.9l 24v..-mine Smile
everything run B100 when its warm enough Smile
April 12, 2010, 12:50 AM
Waiting on PID components and more ss hardware to arrive. My distiller with column is over 8 ft tall. Really compliments the biopro, great for high purity methanol recovery.

Early small sample testing at room temperature, air tight after inoculation period.
1 control open to air = lactic acid production, rancid smell (air borne spores much like cheese formation), muck is a good description.
2 test sample A, e.coli flora from chicken poop,approx 1% by weight = clear breakdown and separation, pH dropped over time(some acid produced, type? ) need either GC or large enough sample to distill, will centrifuge and test layers for flamability and flame color, definitely have a lot of water present, will dry with Zeo 3A first. Really need a lab and chemists to do this, I'm realizing chicken poop has a lot of nitrates plus glycerol (glycerin family)with acid present, this could be bad. I think I will keep my results quiet for a while. Don't want to be responsible for other people competing with NASA from home.

General e.coli flora from chicken poop, although not a pure cultivatible strain, does breakdown glycerol, but into what?

April 14, 2010, 11:17 AM
This stuff is fascinating.

Somewhat related referencs:
Temperature Range for Growth of Escherichia coli Serotype 0157:H7 and Selected Coliforms in E. coli Medium (pdf)

Hydrogen and Ethanol Production from Glycerol Wastes (pdf)

May 23, 2010, 10:26 AM
Legal Eagle
Report on the Rice University glycerol to ethanol project here.

Gonzalez became interested in glycerol while he was an assistant professor at Iowa State University in Ames.

Darn that Van Gerpen (ISU), he's got his nose stuck everywhere :-)

THis another article about it

** Biodiesel Glycerine Soap - The Guide
- on 5 continents helping people make & sell soap from the Biodiesel Glycerine.