Acetol: A green solvent [abstract]
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The biodiesel industry has burgeoned as renewable fuel sources have come to the forefront of the efforts to reduce pollution. As the production of biodiesel grows, the byproduct, glycerol, becomes a disadvantage that must be dealt with. An additional one billion pounds of glycerol are expected to be introduced into a market that currently demands only six-hundred million pounds per year. The conversion of glycerol to acetol by means of a copper-chromite catalyst paired with reactive distillation seems to be one attractive solution as it produces acetol for only $0.50 per pound as acetol's use is currently limited by its $5.00 per pound price tag. This attractive price reduction opens up use for acetol in a variety of applications. Acetol's application as a green solvent in an everyday role such as white board cleaner will be thoroughly evaluated in this project.