Palm Oil Engineering Bulletin No.123 (Apr - Jun 2017) p27-30
Bio-based 1,3-propanediol Production from Crude Glycerol
Stasha Eleanor Rosland Abel* and Soh Kheang Loh*

Biodiesel, an environmental-friendly and renewable fuel has gained market share and popularity as an alternative to fossil fuel. The utilisation of glycerol for the synthesis of value-added  chemicals is a topic of great industrial interest because the rapid growth of the biodiesel industry has thus generated an excess of waste glycerol. This occurrence is unavoidable due to its  restricted application owing to the presence of impurities. Its natural disposal in the environment is prohibited but at the same time it is costly to store and process this into its pure form. The triglyceride backbone of glycerol can serve as a natural metabolite for biological functions in many cells and has potential to be degraded into high value-added smaller molecules. We found a newly isolated 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PD) producer from palm oil mill effluent (POME) which was capable of fermenting crude glycerol into 1,3-PD (5.28 g litre-1) along with by-products, butanol (0.34 g litre-1) and acetone (0.31 g litre-1) after 48 hr of incubation at 30°C in medium enriched with crude glycerol at 150 rpm. The strain, namely Kluyvera cryocrescens has the potential to be used in the bioprocess of interest in the future. 

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