MFI zeolite as adsorbent for selective recovery of hydrocarbons from ABE fermentation broths

Abstract

1-Butanol and butyric acid are two interesting compounds that may be produced by acetone, butanol, and ethanol fermentation using e.g. Clostridium acetobutylicum. The main drawback, restricting the commercialization potential of this process, is the toxicity of butanol for the cell culture resulting in low concentrations of this compound in the broth. To make this process economically viable, an efficient recovery process has to be developed. In this work, a hydrophobic MFI type zeolite with high silica to alumina ratio was evaluated as adsorbent for the recovery of butanol and butyric acid from model solutions. Dual component adsorption experiments revealed that both butanol and butyric acid showed a high affinity for the hydrophobic MFI zeolite when adsorbed from aqueous model solutions. Multicomponent adsorption experiments using model solutions, mimicking real fermentation broths, revealed that the adsorbent was very selective to the target compounds. Further, the adsorption of butyric and acetic acid was found to be pH dependent with high adsorption below, and low adsorption above, the respective pKa values of the acids. Thermal desorption of butanol from MFI type zeolite was also studied and a suitable desorption temperature was identified.

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Abbreviations

ABE:

Acetone, Butanol and Ethanol

C:

Concentration

V:

Volume

b:

Langmuir adsorption parameter (L/g)

qmax :

Saturation loading (g/g)

i :

Adsorbate specie i

e :

Equilibrium

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Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank Formas, the Swedish Energy Agency, VINNOVA, Smurfit Kappa and Bio4Energy, a strategic research environment appointed by the Swedish government, for financially supporting this work. Also sincere thanks go to Dr. Hesham Ahmed for his assistance with the TG-MS measurements.

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Correspondence to Mattias Grahn.

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Faisal, A., Zarebska, A., Saremi, P. et al. MFI zeolite as adsorbent for selective recovery of hydrocarbons from ABE fermentation broths. Adsorption 20, 465–470 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10450-013-9576-6

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Keywords

  • Butanol
  • Adsorption
  • Zeolites
  • Langmuir
  • Butyric acid
  • MFI