Development of a supported emulsion liquid membrane system for propionic acid separation in a microgravity environment
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Perstractive fermentation is a good way to increase the productivity of bioreactors. UsingPropionibacteria as the model system, the feasibility of using supported emulsion liquid membrane (SELM) for perstractive fermentation is assessed in this study. Five industrial solvents were considered as the solvent for preparing the SELM. The more polar a solvent is, the higher the partition coefficient. However, toxicity of a solvent also increases with its polarity. CO-1055 (industrial decanol/octanol blend) has the highest partition coefficient toward propionic acid among the solvents that has no molecular toxicity towardPropionibacteria. A preliminary extraction study was conducted using tetradecane as solvent in a hydrophobic hollow fiber contactor. The result confirmed that SELM eliminates the equilibrium limitation of conventional liquid-liquid extraction, and allows the use of a non-toxic solvent with low partition coefficient.
Keywordsmicrogravity supported emulsion liquid membrane hollow fiber contactor extraction toxicity
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