(109c) Simulated Moving Bed Technologies for the Separations of Three or More Components and Applications for the Production of High Purity Biochemicals and Biofuels
Batch adsorption and chromatography processes are highly selective separation techniques. They have been widely used for the analysis of complex mixtures and the purification of chemicals, and biochemicals. A continuous adsorption process (or ?Simulated Moving Bed? process) can have significantly higher yield, higher throughput, and lower solvent consumption than batch chromatography. SMB processes have been widely used for binary separations, including the purification of hydrocarbons since 1970's, high-fructose corn syrup since 1980's, and chiral pharmaceuticals since 1990's. SMB is potentially an economical method for large scale production of biochemicals and biofuels from complex mixtures. However, there are three key barriers: (1) the lack of design and optimization method for achieving high product purity and high yield for the recovery of biochemicals from a complex mixture, (2) the lack of versatile SMB equipment for multi-component purification, and (3) expensive pilot scale experiments. Three new technologies have been developed at Purdue to overcome these barriers: the standing wave design and optimization method for multi-component fractionation, rate model simulations as virtual experiments, and versatile simulated moving bed equipment. The new technologies were applied systematically to develop many new SMB processes, including a tandem SMB to recover insulin from a ternary mixture, a tandem SMB to recover three amino acids, and a five-zone SMB to recover six sugars from corn stover hydrolyzates.