Acetic acid recovery from fast pyrolysis oil. An exploratory study on liquid-liquid reactive extraction using aliphatic tertiary amines

Mahfud, F. H., van Geel, F. P., Venderbosch, R. H. & Heeres, H. J., 2008, In : Separation Science and Technology. 43, 11-12, p. 3056-3074 19 p.

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Flash pyrolysis oil or Bio-oil (BO), obtained by flash pyrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass, is very acidic in nature. The major component responsible for this acidity is acetic acid, present in levels up to 2-10 wt%. Here, we report an exploratory study on BO upgrading by reactive extraction of acetic acid using long-chain tertiary amines in a batch set-up. Factors affecting the extraction efficiency, such as the type and concentration of tertiary amine and co-solvents, were investigated. More than 90 wt% of the acetic acid could be extracted in a single equilibrium step (BO diluted in THF (26 wt% BO), trioctylamine (TOA) in octane as the extractant phase, T = 20 degrees C). However, the amine has considerable affinity for the BO phase and about 10 wt% on initial intake was transferred to the BO. A considerable improvement was obtained when using the aqueous phase of a thermally treated BO containing 6 wt% acid of acetic acid. In a single extraction step, acetic acid extraction efficiencies up to 75 wt% were achieved without significant amine transfer to the aqueous phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3056-3074
Number of pages19
JournalSeparation Science and Technology
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • acetic acid, bio-oil, biomass, flash pyrolysis, reactive liquid-liquid extraction, tri-n-octyl amine, CARBOXYLIC-ACIDS, ORGANIC SOLUTIONS, WATER, REMOVAL, FERMENTATION

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