Separation of Itaconic Acid from the Aqueous Phase using Phosphoric Extractants

Document Type : Research Article


1 Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, VNIT Nagpur

2 Department of Chemical Engineering VNIT Nagpur 440010 Maharashtaaara VNIT Nagpur


The technique for the separation of itaconic acid from fermented broth has a substantial impact on overall manufacturing costs. To make biorefineries sustainable and profitable, optimization and highly efficient downstream processes are technological hurdles. Itaconic acid has previously been separated using processes like crystallization, extraction, electrodialysis, diafiltration, precipitation, adsorption, and pertraction. Crystallization is a common way to separate itaconic acid from fermented broth, but other methods, viz., reactive extraction and membrane separation, show promise as recovery processes that could be used with fermentation to increase the yield of the process. In this study, the distribution coefficients were obtained from 1.89-4.05 with extraction efficiencies of 65.35-80.20% at 10–50 vol% of tri-n-butyl phosphate with iso-octanol. The maximum separation of itaconic acid was observed with 50% tri-n-butyl phosphate at 0.051 mol.L-1 of itaconic acid. The loading ratio was less than 0.5, showing that the complex was formed 1:1 (acid: extractant) in the organic phase. The results indicate that iso-octanol with tri-n-butyl phosphate could be further used as a solvent to the separation of itaconic acid.


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