Equilibrium studies on the back extraction of lactic acid from organic phase

Karaburun, Füsun
Lactic acid is a fermentation-derived organic acid used in a wide range of industries, such as food processing and pharmaceuticals. Its market is expected to expand due to the worldwide concern for the environment, as it is an essential feedstock for biodegradable polymers. However, fermentation product is a very dilute, multicomponent aqueous solution. Subsequent separation, purification and concentration of organic acids is difficult because of high affinity of the acids for water. Reactive extraction is a viable alternative to classical separation techniques. Amine extractants dissolved in organic diluents are suitable agents with reasonable ranges of viscosity and density of the solvent phase. The product is obtained in an organic phase after reactive extraction. The aim of this study is to obtain equilibrium data of back extraction of lactic acid into appropriate aqueous solutions from the organic phase. Aqueous solutions of NaCl, NaOH, Na2SO4, NaNO3 and Na2CO3 were examined as back extractant in various initial concentrations (0.005 ا 3 M). The organic phase consists of tri-n-octylmethylammonium lactate (TOMA(La)) dissolved in either oleyl alcohol or octanol with initial concentrations between 0.1 and 0.3 M. According to results of the experiments, the level of back extraction generally increased with increasing initial salt concentration in aqueous phase and decreased with increasing initial TOMA(La) concentration in organic phase. For all salts investigated, considerable levels of back extraction were obtained. NaOH was considered as the most suitable back extractant among the salts investigated since it exhibits higher distribution coefficients, regenerates tri-n-octylmethylammonium hydroxide (TOMAOH) in the organic phase and has no adverse effect on fermentation medium when forward and backward extraction steps are coupled with the fermentation. The effect


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Citation Formats
F. Karaburun, “Equilibrium studies on the back extraction of lactic acid from organic phase,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2004.