Biodiesel has been successfully commercialized in numerous countries. Glycerol, as a byproduct in biodiesel production plant, has been explored recently for fuel additive production. One of the most prospective fuel additives is solketal, which is produced from glycerol and acetone via an acetalization reaction. This manuscript reviewed recent progress on heterogeneous catalysts used in the exploratory stage of glycerol conversion to solketal. The effects of acidity strength, hydrophobicity, confinement effect, and others are discussed to find the most critical parameters to design better catalysts for solketal production. Among the heterogeneous catalysts, resins, hierarchical zeolites, mesoporous silica materials, and clays have been explored as effective catalysts for acetalization of glycerol. Challenges with each popular catalytic material are elaborated. Future works on glycerol to solketal will be improved by considering the stability of the catalysts in the presence of water as a byproduct. The presence of water and salt in the feed is certainly destructive to the activity and the stability of the catalysts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Energy (miscellaneous)
- Control and Optimization
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering