RECOVERY OF FORMIC ACID BY REACTIVE EXTRACTION USING AN ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY SOLVENT

Mustafa Esen MARTI

Abstract


Today many carboxylic acids are recovered from biological production media and industrial wastewaters. Reactive extraction is favored over other separation methods due to its high recovery efficiency, ease of operation, low energy demand and reduced cost. However, use of toxic organic diluents in the organic phases is the main disadvantage of the method. In this study, the appropriateness of an environmentally-friendly solvent, sunflower oil (SFO) to be used as organic phase diluent during the recovery of formic acid (FA) from aqueous solutions by reactive extraction was evaluated. Alamine-336 was used as the extractant and the results obtained with SFO were compared with those obtained using octanol. The separation process reached an equilibrium in 3 hours and the recovery efficiency increased with the increase in extractant percentages. The initial FA concentration positively influenced the recovery when SFO was used as the diluent. In the ranges of the parameters studied, the highest recovery values were 98.6% and 82.6% with octanol and SFO, respectively. This study shows that low molecular weight carboxylic acids, e.g. FA can be recovered from aqueous solutions by reactive extraction using environmentally-friendly solvents such as SFO.


Keywords


Formic acid, Reactive Extraction, Sunflower Oil, Alamine 336, Equilibrium

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References


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