The last 20 years have seen an unprecedented breakthrough in the biodiesel industry worldwide leads to abundance of glycerol. Therefore, the economic utilization of glycerol to various value-added chemicals is vital for the sustainability of the biodiesel industry. One of the promising processes is acetalization of glycerol to acetals and ketals for applications as fuel additives. These products could be obtained by acid-catalyzed reaction of glycerol with aldehydes and ketones. Application of different supported heterogeneous catalysts such as zeolites, heteropoly acids, metal-based and acid-exchange resins have been evaluated comprehensively in this field. In this review, the glycerol acetalization has been reported, focusing on innovative and potential technologies for sustainable production of solketal. In addition, the impacts of various parameters such as application of different reactants, reaction temperature, water removal, utilization of crude-glycerol on catalytic activity in both batch and continuous processes are discussed. The outcomes of this research will therefore significantly improve the technology required in tomorrow's bio-refineries. This review provides spectacular opportunities for us to use such renewables and will consequently benefit the industry, environment and economy.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.