We propose to remove the acetic acid with an alternative process whereby acetic acid is extracted into 1-octanol in a membrane extractor and reacted with 1-octanol in situ using a membrane containing an embedded catalyst to yield 1-octyl acetate. Acetic acid concentration in the hydrolysate will be reduced from 12.5 g/L to In our study, we prepare membranes with a suitable catalyst (initial efforts utilize strong acid ion exchange resins) embedded in the membranes to achieve extraction and reaction in a single step. The effects of catalyst concentration, operating temperature and flow rates are investigated to optimize the performance of the process. Thus, the membrane extractor/reactor removes acetic acid from the hydrolysate and produces a valuable by-product in an environmentally friendly process.
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