The aim of this study was to optimize a biotechnological process for the production of 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PD) based on low-quality crude glycerol derived from biodiesel production. Clostridium butyricum AKR102a was used in fed-batch fermentations in 1-L and 200-L scale. The newly discovered strain is characterized by rapid growth, high product tolerance, and the ability to use crude glycerol at the lowest purity directly gained from a biodiesel plant side stream. Using pure glycerol, the strain AKR102 reached 93.7 g/L 1,3-PD with an overall productivity of 3.3 g/(L*h). With crude glycerol under the same conditions, 76.2 g/L 1,3-PD was produced with a productivity of 2.3 g/(L*h). These are among the best results published so far for natural producers. The scale up to 200 L was possible. Due to the simpler process design, only 61.5 g/L 1,3-PD could be reached with a productivity of 2.1 g/(L*h).