University of Oulu

Tuppurainen V., Ahola J., Tanskanen J., 2018, Effect of organic solvents in separation section of levulinic acid production: synthesis of distillation sequences, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 69, 235-240 DOI: 10.3303/CET1869040

Effect of organic solvents in separation section of levulinic acid production : synthesis of distillation sequences

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Author: Tuppurainen, Ville1; Ahola, Juha1; Tanskanen, Juha1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Chemical Process Engineering Research Unit
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Italian Association of Chemical Engineering, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-12-14


This work highlights the system specific characteristics encountered when considering a distillation-based separation strategy for levulinic acid (LA) and the by-product formic acid (FA) in the presence of water and water-miscible sulfolane or γ-valerolactone (GVL) solvents. Simulation using Aspen Plus® was applied to identify the presence of distillation boundary surfaces and tangent pinches resulting from the non-ideal behaviour of the mixtures in question. In the applied feed composition regions, the separation performance of the GVL solvent system in particular is limited by these restricting conditions. Minimum energy requirements for the separation of valuable components are presented as the conceptual design performance indicators, allowing the benchmarking of separation strategies. Sidedraw column configurations offer advantages in enriching the dilute valuable compounds from the feed and performing difficult separations at lower solvent quantities. This is especially advantageous for the sulfolane system where both LA and FA are intermediate-boiling.

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Series: Chemical engineering transactions
ISSN: 1974-9791
ISSN-E: 2283-9216
ISSN-L: 1974-9791
ISBN: 978-88-95608-66-2
Volume: 69
Pages: 235 - 240
DOI: 10.3303/CET1869040
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 215 Chemical engineering
Funding: The authors are grateful for the financial support from the ERDF project Biomass value chains (decision nr EURA 2014/2191/09 02 01 01/2015/KPLIITTO) and from the Academy of Finland (grant number 286633).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 286633
Detailed Information: 286633 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: Copyright © 2018, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l. Our policy is to permit Authors to reuse part of their CET articles or to self-archive the published version of their work in Institutional Repository, provided that AIDIC/CET is acknowledged as source.