Separation and Purification Technologies for Lactic Acid – A Brief Review

Andrea Komesu, Maria Regina Wolf Maciel, Rubens Maciel Filho

Abstract


Lactic acid is an important platform chemical with a wide range of applications. Production of lactic acid by fermentation is advantageous because renewable and low cost raw materials can be used as substrates. After fermentation, the broth needs to be purified to obtain pure lactic acid for further uses. Thus, efficient downstream processes are very important because they account for 50% of the production costs. This review discusses different processes that are currently employed for lactic acid recovery, focusing on precipitation, solvent extraction, and separation with membranes. Advances in such recovery processes and drawbacks that limit the application of these technologies at the industrial level are also presented.

Keywords


Lactic acid; Membranes; Precipitation; Separation processes; Solvent extraction

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