Bio-Solketal – Synthesis of 100 percent bio-based Solketal (Isopropylidene glycerol)

The focus within this project is the synthesis of 100 percent bio‑based Solketal (Isopropylidene glycerol) carried out in a semi-continuous reactor. Solketal can be catalyzed from glycerol and acetone under acidic conditions. This synthesis was developed in a laboratory scale by the GLACONCHEMIE GmbH using biogenic glycerol (purely vegetable, by-product from the biodiesel production). The petrochemical based acetone is to be produced from renewable resources in the context of this project. Thereby Solketal will be fabricated for the first time as adequate bio‑product (picture 1).

The production of acetone should be analyzed and compared via aerobic and anaerobic fermentation in laboratory scale. While the anaerobic process will be done with Clostridium-wildtype-strains (classical ABE‑fermentation), for the aerobic fermentation genetically modified Escherichia coli‑strains will be used. These strains will be prepared in cooperation with the Martin‑Luther‑University Halle‑Wittenberg. In addition to the growth adaption to lignocellulose‑hydrolysate as renewable resource, a scale up from laboratory in pilot scale and the integration of the product separation is planned.

By the use of a new developed synthesis and a semi‑continuous process management it is possible to reduce the costs of production and therefore to drop the market value. The bio‑based Solketal is an excellent primary product especially for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry to generate sustainable products.

Project information

Project title

Bio‑Solketal – Synthesis of 100 percent bio‑based Solketal (Isopropylidene glycerol)


Project duration

September 2014 – June 2017


Project partners

  • GLANCONCHEMIE GmbH (Coordination)
  • Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes CBP  (subcontracted work)



We would like to thank the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project executing organization Jülich (PTJ) as well as the Spitzencluster BioEconomy e. V. for funding the project “Bio‑Solketal“, promotional reference n° 031A452 (part A).

Federal Ministry of Education and Research.