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Saline Extractive Distillation for Ethanol Separation

2007 DOT-RITA Seed Award


PI: Dr. Peter Pfromm (Kansas State University, Chemical Engineering)

Funded: $69,988

Start Date: 7/1/2007

End Date: 6/30/2009


Expected Outcomes

The objective is to reduce capital and operating costs (energy demand) of the current multi stage separation process for recovery of fuel-grade ethanol from fermentation broth. A single distillation unit will suffice to obtain fuel-grade ethanol. The principle is the addition of salt to the distillation column and the subsequent recovery and recycle of the salt by electrodialysis. The recycling of salt to the distillation column by electrodialysis is the enabling process for saline extractive distillation.


Methodology includes: 1. Electrodialysis experiments 2. Computer simulation, mass and energy balances 3. Cost estimate Published computer simulations for saline extractive distillation of fermentation broth will be the foundation. The novelty of this work is the use of electrodialysis for salt recovery from the bottoms of the saline extractive distillation column. Small pilot scale electrodialysis experiments with simulated and actual fermentation broth will give the data to computer-model saline extractive distillation with electrodialytic salt recovery. A steady state computer simulation will be completed to obtain mass and energy balances. Cost estimates will be done according to accepted chemical engineering principles.


Expected Outcomes: Experiment-based design data, computer simulation, and cost estimates for saline extractive distillation of ethanol from fermentation broth. Publication in peer reviewed journals.

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