Naples Industrial Chemistry Laboratory


Biodiesel is a mixture of fatty acids methyl esters (FAMEs) obtained by transesterification of triglycerides (oils or fats) with methanol:

The reaction also produces glycerin (around 10 Kg of glycerin per 100 Kg of biodiesel). The strong increase in biodiesel production (from 2 million ton in 2004 to 16 million ton in 2009) has produced a glycerin glut with a consequent price decreases. Because its low price and its reactivity, the glycerin is now considered as an intersting building block by industry for production of several chemical products.

Among the different possible use of glycerol, NICL has studied the chlorination of glycerol to produce the dichlorohydrin wich is used then to produce epichlohydrin.

This process has been proposed as substituted of the propylene chlorination classical route .
The production of epichlorohydrin from glycerol is more convinient from enviromental, technical and economic points of view than the classical route.
NICL is among the pioneers of Glycerin Chlorination Technology and some of the results of its research activities done in collaboration with industrial parteners (ASER, Eurochem Eng., CONSER) have been reported in patent applications and scientific publications.


  • New production processes of dichlorohydrins from glycerol using acyl chlorides as catalysts or reactants. R. Vitiello, R. Tesser, E. Santacesaria, M. Di Serio. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Just Accepted Manuscript DOI: 10.1021/acs.iecr.5b03765
  • Glycerol chlorination in a gas-liquid semibatch reactor: New catalysts for chlorohydrin production R Vitiello, V Russo, R Turco, R Tesser, M Di Serio, E Santacesaria. Chinese Journal of Catalysis 35 (5) (2014) 663-66
  • Chemical and Technical Aspects of the Synthesis of Chlorohydrins from Glycerol. E Santacesaria, R Vitiello, R Tesser, V Russo, R Turco, M Di Serio. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 53 (22) (2014) 8939-8962
  • Glycerol Chlorination in GasLiquid Semibatch Reactor: An Alternative Route for Chlorohydrins Production. R. Tesser, M. Di Serio, R. Vitiello, V. Russo, E. Ranieri, E. Speranza, E. Santacesaria. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. (2012) 51, 8768-8776
  • New process for producing epichlorohydrin via glycerol chlorination. Santacesaria, E.; Tesser, R.; Di Serio, M.; Casale, L.; Verde, D. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (2010), 49(3), 964-970.

  • Patents

  • Process for the production of chlorohydrins from glycerol and acyl chlorides Santacesaria Elio; Di Serio, Martino; Tesser, Riccardo; Vitiello, Rosa (Conser SpA; Eurochem Enginnering) PCT Int. Apl. (2016) WO 2016009344 (A1)
  • Process for the production of dichlorydrins. Santacesaria, Elio; Tesser, Riccardo; Vitiello, Rosa; Di Serio, Martino. (Eurochem Engineering srl, Conser spa) PCT Int. Appl. (2015) WO 2015033365 (A1)
  • Process for monochlorohydrins production from glycerol and hydrochloric acid. Santacesaria, Elio; Di Serio, Martino; Tesser, Riccardo. (Eurochem Engineering srl) PCT Int. Appl. (2008) WO 2008132770 (A1)
  • Process for the production of 1,3-dichloro-2-propanol from glycerin and hydrochloric acid in the presence of organic carboxylic acid catalysts. Siano, Dante; Santacesaria, Elio; Fiandra, Valeria; Tesser, Riccardo; Di Nuzzi, Giovanni; Di Serio, Martino; Nastasi, Mario. (Aser S.r.l., Italy). PCT Int. Appl. (2006), WO 2006111810 (A2)