University of Twente Student Theses


Concentration and Esterification of Lactic Acid in Complex Coacervates

Pazos Urrea, Monica (2019) Concentration and Esterification of Lactic Acid in Complex Coacervates.

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Abstract:The viability of complex coacervates to concentrate lactic acid and further convert it into a valuable compound is evaluated. In the first step, the concentration of lactic acid, butanol, lipases and butyl lactate in complex coacervates is studied. The effect of various parameters such as complex composition, total polyelectrolyte concentration, ionic strength, and temperature on the distribution of the molecules between the dilute phase and complex coacervate phase were discussed. The components presented distribution coefficients greater than one, indicating that the molecules are being incorporated in the complex coacervates. The factor with the greatest influence on the enzymes and lactic acid incorporation was the ionic strength while for butanol distribution the temperature presented the more substantial effect. In the second step, the esterification of lactic acid with butanol was performed in the presence of an enzyme-filled complex coacervate. The results indicate that lactic acid can be converted to butyl lactate at a low yield (7-9%) at the conditions evaluated (50°C, 170 hours). These experiments represent the first approach to assess this possible application of complex coacervates. Several factors can be explored to improve the ester production, such as an increase in enzyme concentration, increase in temperature or concentration of reagents.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:TNW: Science and Technology
Subject:35 chemistry, 50 technical science in general, 58 process technology
Programme:Chemical Engineering MSc (60437)
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