I D
× COMMENTARYCOVER STORYIN THE NEWSNEWSFRONTSCHEMENTATOR + Show More
Chemical Engineering MagazineChementator Briefs
PDH catalyst Last month, Clariant's Catalyst business (Munich, Germany; www.clariant.com)…
BUSINESS NEWSTECHNICAL & PRACTICALFEATURE REPORTFACTS AT YOUR FINGERTIPSTECHNOLOGY PROFILESOLIDS PROCESSINGENGINEERING PRACTICEEQUIPMENT & SERVICESFOCUS
Focus on Pumps
Self-priming, liquid-ring pumps enable hygienic operation The CFS AS/ASH Series…
NEW PRODUCTS + Show More

Comment PDF Processing & Handling

A gypsum-free, energy-saving route to lactic acid

By Chemical Engineering |

Uhde GmbH (Dortmund, Germany; www.uhde.biz) is developing a new process for producing lactic acid (LA) — a monomer for making the biodegradable plastic polylactic acid (PLA) — that does not require a distillation step. As a result, savings in steam and electrical power are calculated to be up to €100/ton of LA, says Joachim Schulze, head of Uhde’s biotechnology division. In conventional routes, lactic acid is made by the fermentation of sugar using bacteria, such as lactobacillus, streptococcus or pediococcus. As LA is produced, lime milk [saturated aqueous Ca(OH)2] is added to keep the pH from becoming too acidic for the bacteria to survive. After fermentation, sulfuric acid is added to convert the calcium lactate into free acid, producing gypsum (CaSO4) as a byproduct. The crude LA is separated by filtration and clarification of the broth and evaporation of the water, and then purified by distillation. The new process (flowsheet) uses a thermophyllic bacteria strain that is also compatible with ammonia, which is added to adjust the pH. After the fermentation — which produces more than 130 g/L LA titer (productivity > 4 g/Lh) — the broth is filtered and sulfuric acid is added to release the LA.…
Related Content
Bio-based adipic acid
Adipic acid is a dicarboxylic acid that is widely applied to the production of nylon, polyurethanes, plasticizers and other polymers.…
More than beer is brewing
This year, the recipient of the Othmer Gold Medal is Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairman and managing director of Biocon Ltd. (Bangalore,…
The Biogas Boom
It probably isn’t going to solve all the world’s energy needs, but producing biogas from waste can help slash the…

Chemical Engineering publishes FREE eletters that bring our original content to our readers in an easily accessible email format about once a week.
Subscribe Now
Quadruple Sensor Lifetime with a Retractable Housing
Minimizing Explosion Risk Where Other Solutions Cannot
Minimizing Corrosion with Fast, Robust Gas Analysis
Lower Measurement Point Costs with Automatic pH Sensor Cleaning
Reduce the Risk of Corrosion in Fertilizer Production

View More

Live chat by BoldChat