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Screening of sorbents for recovery of succinic and itaconic acids from fermentation broths


The di‐carboxylic acids succinic acid and itaconic acid are promising building block chemicals that can be produced through fermentation, but the processes would benefit from enhancements in product recovery. While sorption has already been studied to some extent for succinate/succinic acid removal, literature on the potential of sorption for itaconic acid recovery is scarce. This work thus aimed to screen a range of sorbents and/or resins for their capacity to separate both acids from fermentation broths, envisaging both ex situ and in situ product recovery applications.


Static batch screening led to a shortlist of 4 promising products. These were further characterized in terms of dynamic sorption capacity, regenerability, acid recovery, ability to concentrate the product and stability during sorption‐desorption cycles. Final tests with real fermentation broth gave unsatisfying results for succinic acid recovery. For itaconic acid, promising results were obtained both on synthetic solutions and on a real fermentation broth.


While it is doubtful that adsorption will be the process of choice for in situ or ex situ succinic acid recovery, well performing sorbents could be identified for itaconic acid recovery from fermentation broths, offering perspectives for in situ product recovery application.

Authors:   Heleen De Wever, Danielle Dennewald
Journal:   Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology
Year:   2017
Pages:   n/a
DOI:   10.1002/jctb.5366
Publication date:   13-Jul-2017
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