A New Process for Extracting Alginates from Laminaria digitata: Reactive Extrusion
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Alginates are natural polysaccharides that are extracted from brown seaweeds and widely used for their rheological properties. The main step in the extraction protocol used in the alginate industry is that of alkaline extraction. A batch process is used for this step, which is time-, water-, and reactant-consuming. The possibility of extracting by reactive extrusion was investigated. The reactive extrusion process appeared to be more efficient than the batch process for the alkaline extraction of alginates from Laminaria digitata in several key ways: Time demand is reduced from about an hour to only few minutes, water and reactant requirements are divided by more than a factor 2, extraction yield is 15% higher (relative enhancement), and the rheological properties of the product were all enhanced. Hence, reactive extrusion could be an interesting alternative process for the alginate industry to produce high rheological properties alginates.
KeywordsAlginate Alkaline extraction Laminaria digitata Reactive extrusion Intrinsic viscosity
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