Northwestern researchers discover crumpled graphene balls are a promising lubricant additive
Report: Musk trims Telsa’s China EV expectations to 5,000 units this year

One-step process under mild conditions for conversion of glycerol to solketal, STBE fuel additives

There has been growing interest in the potential for converting glycerol—a relatively large (about 10 wt %) byproduct of the conventional production of biodiesel (fatty acid methyl esters)—into solketal (2,2-dimethyl 1,3-dioxalane-4-methanol) for use as an oxygenated fuel additive or diesel combustion promoter.

A number of approaches to solketal production have been explored. One of the latest comes from a team from the Topchiev Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis and Gubkin State University of Oil and Gas in Russia.

In a paper in the journal Fuel, they report a continuous, one-step process for the quantitative conversion of glycerol into a mixture of ethers under mild conditions (atmospheric pressure and temperatures of 40–70 °C) over a zeolite BEA catalyst.

Zeolite-BEA converts glycerol completely into a mixture of solketal and solketal tert-butyl ether (STBE).


They also reported that the introduction of solketal into hydrocarbon oil improves its antiwear properties; solketal was the most effective antiwear agent from all the ethers formed.


  • Vadim O. Samoilov, Dzhamalutdin N. Ramazanov, Andrey I. Nekhaev, Anton L. Maximov, Leonid N. Bagdasarov (2016) “Heterogeneous catalytic conversion of glycerol to oxygenated fuel additives” Fuel, Volume 172, Pages 310-319, doi: 10.1016/j.fuel.2016.01.024


The comments to this entry are closed.