Master Assignments

Pressurized methane as an anti-solvent for regeneration of solvent

Coach: Lisette Sprakel

Pressurized methane as an anti-solvent for regeneration of solvent

Separation of carboxylic acids from aqueous streams performed by distillation is very energy inefficient, especially at low concentrations of acid. In this case liquid-liquid extraction is a promising solution. Previous research has shown that for the system of succinic acid in water, the process of liquid-liquid extraction is a promising alternative.

For the regeneration either a change in temperature or addition of an anti-solvent can be applied. The addition of an anti-solvent comes with the difficulty of removing the anti-solvent. This problem can be overcome by applying a gaseous ‘anti-solvent’, which can easily be removed from the system.

This MSc project focuses on the regeneration of solvents that are used for the extraction of carboxylic acids. Regeneration will be performed using pressurized methane as an anti-solvent. A set-up is available in the High-Pressure Lab where the experiments with methane can be performed.

This interaction between solvent, anti-solvent and carboxylic acid is the point of interest of this MSc project. 

The main elements of this MSc project are:

  1. Literature study
  2. Determine which solvent is most promising for the extraction and regeneration of the carboxylic acid
  3. Determine experimental procedure for determination of liquid-liquid-equilibria using pressurized methane as an anti-solvent
  4. Experimentally determine change in liquid-liquid equilibria with and without anti-solvent and screen solvents for the largest effect of anti-solvent.
  5. Create a conceptual design and verify the most promising design.