Valorization of Byproducts from Bio-diesel and Pulp/Paper Plants into Green Chemicals and Fuels

Glycerol is generated in a large quantity as a byproduct in bio-diesel plants, and hence utilization of crude glycerol for value-added chemicals (such as 1,2-propanediol – an important commodity material used in the production of polyester resins and pharmaceuticals) will yield both economic and environmental benefits to bio-diesel plants. On the other hand, the declined market need of conventional pulp/paper products and the rapid growth of demand of green chemicals, fuels and biomaterials have created a new opportunity to the forestry industry where there are abundant bio-renewable resources: forest biomass and residues. Lignin- currently generated at a large amount (~50 million tons per year globally) as a byproduct in pulp/paper mills, is mainly utilized as a low-value heat source. However, lignin is the largest natural source of aromatic compounds, and it can be de-polymerized/liquefied into aromatic/phenolic oils. The lignin-derived aromatic/phenolic oils can be used as green chemicals for substituting phenol or polyols in the production of phenolic or polyurethane resins, respectively. The oils can also be upgraded into to advanced bio-fuels via hydro-treatment.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Charles Xu


Malaya Nanda, Cheng Guo & Matthew Tymchyshyn


CENNATEK Bioanalytical Services Inc.


Engineering - chemical / biological


Alternative energy


Western University



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