Variables and Mechanisms Affecting Electro-Membrane Extraction of Bio-Succinic Acid from Fermentation Broth

Membranes (Basel). 2022 May 23;12(5):542. doi: 10.3390/membranes12050542.


The production of succinic acid from fermentation is a promising approach for obtaining building-block chemicals from renewable sources. However, the limited bio-succinic yield from fermentation and the complexity of purification has been making the bio-succinic acid production not competitive with petroleum-based succinic acid. Membrane electrolysis has been identified to be a promising technology in both production and separation stages of fermentation processes. This work focuses on identifying the key operational parameters affecting the performance of the electrolytic cell for separating succinic acid from fermentation broth through an anionic exchange membrane. Indeed, while efforts are mainly focused on studying the performance of an integrated fermenter-electrolytic cell system, a lack of understanding remains in how to tune the electrolytic cell and which main parameters are involved. The results show that a single electrolytic cell of operating volume 250 mL was able to extract up to 3 g L-1 h-1 of succinic acid. The production of OH- ions by water electrolysis can act as a buffer for the fermenter and it could be tuned as a function of the extraction rate. Furthermore, as the complexity of the solution in terms of the quantity and composition of the ions increased, the energy required for the separation process decreased.

PMID:35629868 | DOI:10.3390/membranes12050542


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