Fermentative Utilization of Glycerol Residue for the Production of Acetic Acid
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Glycerol residue, frequently known as pitch, is a waste produced from the downstream product of crude glycerine distillation. With the increasing need of pure glycerine in the world, the glycerol residue produced is also increasing. Glycerol residue is a solid waste at room temperature, highly alkaline (pH > 13), corrosive, and categorized as hazardous and poisonous waste. In this research, acetic acid was produced from glycerol residue through the anaerobic fermentation process by using purple non-sulphur photosynthetic bacteria. The purpose of this study was to find out the influence of concentration change of glycerol residue on time and to find out the possibility of glycerol residue to be utilized as acetic acid. In this research, at first 400 g of glycerol residue was diluted with 200 ml of distilled water to change the glycerine phase, from solid to liquid at room temperature, acidified by using hydrochloric acid until pH 2. The top layer formed was fatty acid and triglycerides that should be removed. Meanwhile, the bottom layer was diluted glycerol residue which was then neutralized with caustic soda. To produce acetic acid, glycerol residue with various concentrations, salt, and purple non-sulphur photosynthetic bacteria were put together into a 100 ml bottle which had been previously sterilized, then incubated for four weeks under the light of 40-watt bulb. The result showed that on the 28th day of fermentation, the produced acetic acid were 0.28, 1.85, and 0.2% (w/w) by using glycerine with the concentration of 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5% (w/w), respectively.