Soya Based - Refined Glycerin
Soya Base Grade
During the initial phase, the soybeans are cleaned to prevent any impurities from going into the processing. The hull of the beans are cracked open and removed as the skin absorbs the oil.
The soybeans are cut into smaller flakes for further extraction. Hexane is added through a counter-flow extraction system to dissolve soybean oil. The leftover flakes are used for animal feed and other soybean products. The mixture of oil is evaporated to remove the hexane for further processing. Next, the remaining oil is filtered to remove any solid residue left from the previous process. Any dissolved impurities are removed by the degumming process.
The degumming process of soybean oil is the removal of dissolved phosphatides through centrifugation. Water is added to the oil that allows the precipitation of phosphatides. The newly formed precipitate is heavier as phosphatides readily absorb water. The centrifugation process separates the heavy phosphatides from the oil phase to the water phase.
The soybean oil is deacidified by solvent extraction method. The oil is mixed in methanol and agitated for further mixing. The existing free fatty acid in the oil will dissolve readily in methanol and decrease the concentration in the oil. As free fatty acid is the cause of the oxidation and unpleasant scent of the oil, it is important to remove the unnecessary free fatty acid in soybean oil.
5. Transesterification / Saponification
The deacidified soybean oil is broken down via hydrolysis. The process requires water to separate the chains of triglycerides into glycerol/glycerin and fatty acid under high temperature and pressure. Hence, glycerin becomes available for extraction in this step.
6. Glycerin pre-treatment
The mixture of glycerin and chain of fatty acids is further refined by distillation. The oil mixture is distilled to separate the fatty acids from the desired glycerin. The distillation column is heated to reach glycerin’s boiling point. Glycerin has a lower boiling point; hence, glycerin will evaporate leaving fatty acid as a liquid in the column.
The glycerin extraction is not completed since methanol is still present from the deacidification process; therefore, evaporating the methanol from the glycerin is required to produce readily refined glycerin.
1. Pharmaceuticals Industry
Glycerin is widely used as a raw material for pharmaceutical purposes. The chemical compound has contributed to heart medication, suppositories, cough remedies, and anesthetics. In addition, glycerin has laxative properties that are able to improve digested food to flow smoothly along the lining of the stomach.
In cosmetic products, glycerin retains water to maintain product softness, creaminess, and storage life. Glycerin’s low vapor pressure allows the compound to persist when moisture is continuously released into the surroundings. In athletics, glycerin drink is used to help water hydration in athletes due to the loss during exercise.
2. Industrial Applications
Glycerin has been recently researched to provide an intermediary product for fuel additives. Fuel additives are used to decrease harmful emissions by utilizing oxygenated glycerin derivative fuel additives. On the other hand, the lubricating properties of glycerin are used to enhance machine performance and reduce friction. The friction reduction allows heat to dissipate and prevents machinery from overheating. In addition, the economic viability of utilizing glycerin is another reason for being used as chemical intermediate and industrial applications.