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A POROUS PERMEABLE WALL CONTAINING FERMENTOR FOR IN-SITU EXTRACTIVE RECOVERY OF BIOBUTANOL FROM DILUTE FERMENT LIQUORS

A POROUS PERMEABLE WALL CONTAINING FERMENTOR FOR IN-SITU EXTRACTIVE RECOVERY OF BIOBUTANOL FROM DILUTE FERMENT LIQUORS

Author: László Kótai,István Gács
Abstract

A new type of bioreactor containing a porous permeable wall to recover the biobutanol produced in anaerobic ABE fermentation processes is presented. The ferment liquor is contacted with an organic solvent and the butanol in the fermentation liquor distributes between the organic phase and the ferment liquor. The butanol containing solvent located at one side of the permeable wall is in a diffusion equilibrium with a same kind of auxiliary solvent with lower butanol concentration located at the other side of the permeable wall. Due to the concentration difference, butanol diffuses from one side of the wall to the other side. The concentration difference is kept to be constant by continuous removal of the butanol form the auxiliary solvent phase in which the butanol concentration is always lower than in the extractant phase but much higher than the butanol concentration in the ferment liquor phase. In this way, the primary extractant solvent contacting the ferment liquor is only a transmitting media between the ferment liquor and a small volume of the auxiliary solvent separated with the permeable wall. The energy demand of the distillation to remove the butanol from the auxiliary solvent is less than the energy demand of the direct butanol recovery from the ferment liquor or from the extractant phase. The new reactor provides a possibility to develop a continuous fermentation technology, continuous sugar adding and butanol recovery operating far below the toxic limit and inhibition conditions of butanol in the ferment liquor

Keywords: Biobutanol, in-situ extractive fermentation, permeable porous wall; fermentor system

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