BSc-project description

Coach: Lisette Sprakel

Back-Extraction of carboxylic acids from solvent stream

Separation of carboxylic acids from aqueous streams can be performed by distillation and/or extractive distillation. Especially in the case of similar boiling points, the process of liquid-liquid extraction is a promising alternative. In the process of liquid – liquid extraction the acids are extracted from the feed by a solvent. An important factor is the regeneration of this solvent and obtaining the more pure carboxylic acids. Several options are available for the regeneration of the solvent, for example temperature swing regeneration.

This BSc project focuses on the back-extraction of carboxylic acids from several solvents based on different extractants. The specific combination of acid, solvent (extractants and diluents) will be defined at the beginning of the project.

The main elements of this BSc project are:


Literature study of extraction and back-extraction processes in the separation of carboxylic acids.


Determine the influence of temperature, acid concentration, extractant and diluent.


Determine experimentally the liquid- liquid equilibria at different temperatures.


Fit the data with a theoretical model for comparing the different solvents.


Try to define the optimal solvent composition for the recovery of a specific acid.