Hydrothermal conversion of glycerin into lactic acid by a continuous-flow reactor

Guangyi Zhang, Fangming Jin, Bing Wu, Jianglin Cao, Yousif S. Adam, Yin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Using a self-established laboratory scale continuous-flow reactor, the experimental research on continuous hydrothermal conversion of glycerin into lactic acid was made, to lay a foundation for quantity production of lactic acid from glycerin. The optimal operation condition for producing lactic acid in the continuous-flow reactor, and a ∼60% lactic acid yield was achieved. Bad mixing of the reactants as well as a large surface area of the inner wall of the reactor tube decreased significantly the lactic acid yields, especially with a long residence time under a high concentration of alkali. The continuous-flow reactor was modified by substituting the 1/8" tube with a 1/4" tube and equipping a mixing device, and was tested to perform as well as the one with a 1/8" tube. The research results would help design and establish a more high-efficient continuous-flow reactor for hydrothermal conversion of glycerin into lactic acid.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA55
JournalInternational Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Continuous-flow reactor
  • Glycerin
  • Hydrothermal conversion
  • Lactic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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