USDA researchers honored with glycerin award

By | June 17, 2008
Researchers from the USDA are creating new eco-friendly uses for natural glycerin, a byproduct of biodiesel production. Richard Ashby, Daniel Solaiman and Thomas Foglia of the USDA's Agriculture Research Service Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, Pa., received the 2008 Glycerin Innovation Award for this research. The award recognizes outstanding achievement for research into new applications for glycerin, with particular emphasis on commercial viability. Sponsored by the National Biodiesel Board and the Soap and Detergent Association, the award was presented at the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Oil Chemists' Society in Seattle, Wash., in May.

"Through the development of new eco-friendly commercial uses for glycerin, the USDA is making an important contribution to our global environmental sustainability," said NBB Technical Director Steve Howell. "Commercial uses for natural glycerin help improve the overall value of biodiesel production while finding new uses for environmentally friendly, domestically produced products that can replace petroleum-based products."

The team's research focused on replacing petroleum glycerin with natural glycerin in several applications including cosmetics and automatic dishwashing detergent formulations, as well as hard items such as golf tees, disposable razor handles, credit cards and bottles, among others. Products made from natural glycerin are considered "eco-friendly" as they are produced from renewable resources and can be quickly biodegraded upon disposal.
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