An experimental study on hydrocarbon emissions in glycerol combustion utilizing GC/TCD/FID

M. D. Bohon, W. L. Roberts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Recent interest in finding new uses for crude glycerol, the largest by-product in the production of biodiesel, has led to interest in the use of glycerol as an alternative fuel. However, due to the difficulties in burning glycerol (low energy density coupled with a high viscosity and high auto-ignition temperature), it has not previously been used as a fuel. Previous work done by the authors has developed a high-swirl combustor capable of addressing the challenges of burning glycerol and preliminary investigations in emissions have been conducted. This work presents further research into the hydrocarbon emissions levels from the combustion of pure glycerol as functions of the swirl number, nozzle geometries, and fuel composition with comparisons to propane and diesel fuel. Measurements utilize gas chromatography with both a thermal conductivity detector (TCD) for light hydrocarbons and permanent gasses and a flame ionization detector (FID) for heavier hydrocarbons. This work shows that glycerol can effectively be burned without excessive harmful emissions, allowing for the use of glycerol for process heat or power generation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFall Technical Meeting of the Eastern States Section of the Combustion Institute 2011
PublisherCombustion Institute
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781622761258
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

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