Dumeignil honored with 2015 Glycerin Innovation Award

Dr. Franck Dumeignil, a professor at Lille University in France, has been honored with the 2015 Glycerin Innovation Award for his work to overcome industrial processing issues for mass production of high-value chemical products from glycerin
By Ron Kotrba | May 05, 2015

Courtesy of the National Biodiesel Board, below is a press release the organization issued May 5 on the 2015 Glycerin Innovation Award, given to Dr. Franck Dumeignil with Lille University. Congratulations Dr. Dumeignil!

With the rapid growth of global biodiesel consumption leading to significant amounts of glycerin being added to the market, a French researcher’s work to turn that glycerin glut into high value-added products was honored at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Oil Chemists’ Society.

Dr. Franck Dumeignil, Full Professor at Lille University and Deputy Director of the School’s Unit of Catalysis and Solid State Chemistry, is the winner of the 2015 Glycerin Innovation Award, sponsored by the American Cleaning Institute and the National Biodiesel Board.

The ACI/NBB Glycerin Innovation Award recognizes outstanding achievement for research into new applications for glycerin, with particular emphasis on commercial viability.

Dumeignil undertook his research in the context of the rapid growth of the biodiesel industry worldwide creating an urgent need to quickly and effectively convert crude glycerin into value-added chemical products. The research has enhanced the value of glycerin by successfully tackling many bottlenecking problems, with his research showing the potential to mass produce high-value products from glycerin.

“The use of crude glycerin, much less costly than purified glycerol, is still a problem as its impurities are detrimental to the whole process efficiency,” said Dumeignil.

Glycerol is a syrupy and sweet-tasting chemical obtained by glycerin refining.

“Within my research team, we are developing innovations around new catalysts and new processes to tackle these issues. We work with industrial stakeholders to be as close as possible to the industrial reality and to fit with the market and customers’ demands. We are now moving to the pilot scale for some technologies we demonstrated at the lab scale.”

The award has done more than honor winners—it has provided like-minded researchers with the names of yet unknown colleagues, as Dumeignil acknowledged with his group’s cooperation with another award winner.

“We are now collaborating with the 2014 Glycerin Innovation awardee, Dr. Xiaofei ‘Philip’ Ye, to gather our respective expertise in a profitable synergy toward optimized industrial glycerol applications.”

Dumeignil’s recent research in this area has been published in such journals as ACS Catalysis, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, ChemSusChem and Green Chemistry.

The Glycerin Innovation Award includes a plaque and a $5,000 honorarium. It was presented at the AOCS Industrial Oil Products Division luncheon during the AOCS 2015 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.