This work presents a study on the surface tension, density and wetting behaviour of distilled glycerol, technical grade glycerol and the matter organic non-glycerin fraction. The research was conducted to expand the knowledge about the physical properties of wastes from the rapeseed oil biofuel production. The results show that the densities of technical grade glycerol (1.300 g cm-3) and distilled glycerol (1.267 g cm-3) did not differ and were significantly lower than the density of the matter organic non-glycerin fraction (1.579 g cm-3). Furthermore, the surface tension of distilled glycerol (49.6 mN m-1) was significantly higher than the matter organic non-glycerin fraction (32.7 mN m-1) and technical grade glycerol (29.5 mN m-1). As a result, both technical grade glycerol and the matter organic non-glycerin fraction had lower contact angles than distilled glycerol. The examined physical properties of distilled glycerol were found to be very close to that of the commercially available pure glycerol. The results suggest that technical grade glycerol may have potential application in the production of glycerol/fuel blends or biosurfactants. The presented results indicate that surface tension measurements are more useful when examining the quality of biofuel wastes than is density determination, as they allow for a more accurate analysis of the effects of impurities on the physical properties of the biofuel by-products.
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