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Materials 2016, 9(7), 530; doi:10.3390/ma9070530

Recovery of Butanol by Counter-Current Carbon Dioxide Fractionation with its Potential Application to Butanol Fermentation

1
Department of Industrial Engineering DII, University of Padua, Via Marzolo 9, Padua 35131, Italy
2
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR), Functional Foods Research Unit, 1815 North University Street, Peoria, IL 61604, USA
3
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR), Bioenergy Research Unit, 1815 North University Street, Peoria, IL 61604, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Carlos Manuel Silva
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 21 June 2016 / Accepted: 24 June 2016 / Published: 30 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimisation and Scale-Up of Supercritical Fluid Extraction Processes)
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Abstract

A counter-current CO2 fractionation method was applied as a mean to recover n-butanol and other compounds that are typically obtained from biobutanol fermentation broth from aqueous solutions. The influence of operating variables, such as solvent-to-feed ratio, temperature, pressure and feed solution composition was experimentally studied in terms of separation efficiency, butanol removal rate, total removal and butanol concentration in the extract at the end of the continuous cycle. With respect to the temperature and pressure conditions investigated, results show that the highest separation efficiency was obtained at 35 °C and 10.34 MPa. At these operating conditions, 92.3% of the butanol present in the feed solution was extracted, and a concentration of 787.5 g·L−1 of butanol in the extract was obtained, starting from a feed solution of 20 g·L−1. Selectivity was calculated from experimental data, concluding that our column performs much better than a single equilibrium stage. When adding ethanol and acetone to the feed solution, ethanol was detected in the water-rich fraction (raffinate), whereas the highest concentration of acetone was found in the butanol rich fraction (extract). View Full-Text
Keywords: butanol; CO2 fractionation; separation efficiency; butanol rich extract; raffinate butanol; CO2 fractionation; separation efficiency; butanol rich extract; raffinate
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Solana, M.; Qureshi, N.; Bertucco, A.; Eller, F. Recovery of Butanol by Counter-Current Carbon Dioxide Fractionation with its Potential Application to Butanol Fermentation. Materials 2016, 9, 530.

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