Extraction of lower alcohols using novel hydrophobic deep eutectic mixtures : Synthesis, phase equilibria experiments and process economics

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Globally, in the present scenario fossil fuel is full filling nearly 80% of the energy demand. Today, world is heading towards alternate fuel in order to decrease the dependency upon the fossil fuel. Presently, there are so many alternate source of energy like biofuel, nuclear, solar, wind, hydropower etc. Butanol, a potential fuel can play strong role as an alternate source of energy in future. Butanol, produced by Acetone-Butanol-Ethanol (ABE) fermentation with proportion of 3:6:1 under anaerobic conditions. The butanol concentration in product stream higher than 20 g/L retards the growth of microbes resulting in a low yield. This necessitated the use of LLE (liquid-liquid Extraction) for the removal of butanol from ABE streams. Thus the extraction of butanol by hydrophobic solvents has been proposed in the present work. Economical level commercial production of Butanol is up to now at R&D stage. Now days, DESs (deep eutectic solvents), which are considered as green solvent, offers an interesting alternative to ILs (Ionic liquids). In the present study, DESs, which are hydrophobic in nature, made via synthesis of DL-menthol (act as a hydrogen bond accepter) and organic acids (act as a hydrogen bond donor) in the different molar ratio. The present study has been divided in to two parts, first experimental and second simulation. Experimental study has been focused to under liquid-liquid extraction of butanol using different solvent like mesitylene, oleyl alcohol, as well as the organic acids based DESs. In order to evaluate the potential of separation mesitylene, oleyl alcohol, and new synthesized solvent DESs have been chosen for the experimental studies. All the organic solvent and DESs are lighter than water used for butanol extraction from aqueous solution.
Supervisor: Tamal Banerjee