Situation: The biodiesel industry generates large quantities of waste product in the form of crude glycerol. Crude glycerol is used as-is as a low-value animal feed or it is fermented to produce low-value chemicals. Costly refinement can produce pure glycerol, a valuable product with established markets.
Action: The Agritechnology team identified an opportunity to convert low-value crude glycerol into high-yield highly valuable products. Utilising its world-class laboratory facilities and applying technical expertise in waste-stream optimisation, the team:
- Undertook proof-of-concept activities
- Performed proof of scale-up work
- Demonstrated the technology at pilot plant capacity of one tonne per week
Agritechnology teamed up with Peregrine Partners to form a joint venture company, Bio Processing Australia (BPA), to carry out the proof of concept and pilot plant developments. BPA has filed patents for the technology.