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Energy efficiency of acetone, butanol, and ethanol (ABE) recovery by heat-integrated distillation

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Victor Grisales DiazORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


© 2017 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature Acetone, butanol, and ethanol (ABE) is an alternative biofuel. However, the energy requirement of ABE recovery by distillation is considered elevated (> 15.2 MJ fuel/Kg-ABE), due to the low concentration of ABE from fermentation broths (between 15 and 30 g/l). In this work, to reduce the energy requirements of ABE recovery, four processes of heat-integrated distillation were proposed. The energy requirements and economic evaluations were performed using the fermentation broths of several biocatalysts. Energy requirements of the processes with four distillation columns and three distillation columns were similar (between 7.7 and 11.7 MJ fuel/kg-ABE). Double-effect system (DED) with four columns was the most economical process (0.12–0.16 $/kg-ABE). ABE recovery from dilute solutions by DED achieved energy requirements between 6.1 and 8.7 MJ fuel/kg-ABE. Vapor compression distillation (VCD) reached the lowest energy consumptions (between 4.7 and 7.3 MJ fuel/kg-ABE). Energy requirements for ABE recovery DED and VCD were lower than that for integrated reactors. The energy requirements of ABE production were between 1.3- and 2.0-fold higher than that for alternative biofuels (ethanol or isobutanol). However, the energy efficiency of ABE production was equivalent than that for ethanol and isobutanol (between 0.71 and 0.76) because of hydrogen production in ABE fermentation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Grisales Diaz VH, Olivar Tost G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

Year: 2018

Volume: 41

Issue: 3

Pages: 395-405

Print publication date: 01/03/2018

Online publication date: 05/12/2017

Acceptance date: 01/12/2017

Date deposited: 19/02/2018

ISSN (print): 1615-7591

ISSN (electronic): 1615-7605

Publisher: Springer Verlag


DOI: 10.1007/s00449-017-1874-z


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