Korean Team Develops Process to Extract Chemicals From GlycerolAsia Pulse Businesswire -- SEOUL -- January 7, 2009 -- South Korean scientists have developed a high-tech process to extract commercially viable chemical compounds from a biodiesel by-product that can help cut costs of making the synthetic fuel, the government said Wednesday.
"Using a special catalyst to make the chemicals, scientists have found a way to effectively reduce biodiesel production costs by 15 percent," a government official said. He said production cost can be lowered as manufacturers will be able to sell the by-product chemicals on the market.
The official also said that the extraction process is the first of its kind and gives the country an edge over foreign rivals currently committed to making biodiesel fuel.
GC is a new kind of solvent used for industrial and medical purposes that could replace conventional propylene carbonate, while 3-HP is a water-soluble compound utilized in the industrial production of various chemicals such as acrylates.
Once the extraction process for the two chemicals is fully optimized for large-scale production -- which is expected to be completed by 2012 -- biodiesel manufacturers will be able to churn out 950,000 tons of GC per year, the official said. That could draw in an estimated 700 billion won (US$542 million), while production of 3-HP may top 3.6 million tons worth 4.7 trillion won.
The combined global market size of these chemicals could grow to 13 trillion won by 2016 with South Korean companies expected to grab 3 percent of the total, he said.
The project, which was supported by 8 billion won in state research funds, is part of a greater effort by the government to develop new biochemical materials and fuels to cope with South Korea's large industrial and energy needs.
Public and private enterprises have also started work to make improved non-petroleum-based diesel fuel made from vegetable oil and animal fat that may help reduce the country's dependence on imported resources and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Copyright © 2009 Asia Pulse Pte Ltd.
This is a news service of NewsEdge Corporation ©2009. This content is for your personal use only, subject to Terms and Conditions. No redistribution allowed
Editor's Picks from Recent eNews
Women in Agribusiness Study: The Changing Demographics and Experience of Women in Agribusiness
Based on surveys of more than 180 companies and 400 diverse women from across the agri-food sector, the Women in Agribusiness Study will help your company maximize female talent and ultimately develop a more effective and successful team.Read more.