Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 31 (3) September 2019, p. 1-5 HAZIMAH, A H*; OOI, T L*; SALMIAH, A*
Glycerol pitch is one of the wastes generated by the Malaysian oleochemicals industry. A recovery technique which involved an acid-based extraction was developed in which the pitch was separated into three components – crude glycerol containing diglycerol, fatty acids and inorganic salts. The crude glycerol was subjected to vacuum distillation to produce pure glycerol, leaving behind an undistilled fraction rich in diglycerol. Several analyses, such as glycerol content, ash content, moisture content and acidity, and Fourier transform infra red (FTIR) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) were employed to determine the purity and the compositions of glycerol pitch and the products thus isolated from the waste. The analyses showed that the glycerol pitch comprised 55%-65% glycerol, 15%-25% diglycerol, and less than 10% each of fatty acids and inorganic salts. The method developed is simple and suitable for the recovery of glycerol and diglycerol in the waste.KEYWORDS:
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board,
P.O. Box 10620,
50720 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.