Ionic liquid-based three phase partitioning (ILTPP) systems: Ionic liquid recovery and recycling


Ionic liquid-based three phase partitioning (ILTPP) is a promising technique to recover lactoferrin, a high-added value whey protein, because it combines the advantages associated with the use of ionic liquids and the feasibility of the product recovery characteristic of three phase partitioning. The recyclability of the ionic liquid is essential for the feasibility and development of ILTPP technique, due to the high cost and environmental impact associated with the discharge of this type of compounds. For this purpose, the thermodynamic characterization of the systems of interest for ILTPP, which are based on the use of 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate (BmimTfO) and sodium dihydrogenophosphate (NaH2PO4), is here performed to determine the composition of the liquid phases in equilibrium and the distribution coefficient between them. In addition, the fraction of ionic liquid that cannot be reused in the ILTPP process has been assessed, concluding that the recyclability of this compound is highly dependent on the protein concentration in the feed stream. At high protein concentrations (2 g L-1) and moderate ILTPP efficiencies (around 80%) it is possible to recycle more than 99% of the ionic liquid, which improves both the economic and environmental performance of the ILTPP process. (C) 2014 Elsevier BM. All rights reserved.




Thermodynamics; Chemistry; Engineering


Alvarez-Guerra, E; Ventura, SPM; Coutinho, JAP; Irabien, A

nossos autores


Authors would like to thank Francisca A. e Silva and Hugo F.D. Almeida from the Universidade de Aveiro for their help in the preparation of the experimental work. The authors are grateful for the financial support from FEDER funds through the program COMPETE and for national fund through the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) under the scope of the project Pest-/CTM/LA0011/2013. Sonia P.M. Ventura and Enrique Alvarez-Guerra also acknowledge the financial support provided by FCT through the post-doctoral grant SFRH/BPD/79263/2011 and by the Teaching staff Vice-chancellorship of Universidad de Cantabria to carry out the research stay at Universidade de Aveiro in which the present work was developed, respectively.

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