Adsorptive Membranes vs. Resins for Acetic Acid Removal from Biomass Hydrolysates

Binbing Han, Walter Carvalho, Larissa Canilha, Silvio Silverio da Silva, Joao Batista Almeida e Silva, James D. McMillan, S. Ranil Wickramasinghe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus Citations


Acetic acid is a compound commonly found in hemicellulosic hydrolysates. This weak acid strongly influences the bioconversion of sugar containing hydrolysates. Previous investigators have used anion exchange resins for acetic acid removal from different hemicellulosic hydrolysates. In this study, the efficiency of an anion exchange membrane was compared to that of an anion exchange resin, for acetic acid removal from a DI water solution and an acidic hemicellulose hydrolysate pretreated using two different methods. Ion exchange membranes and resins have very different geometries. Here the performance of membranes and resins is compared using two dimensionless parameters, the relative mass throughput and chromatographic bed number. The relative mass throughput arises naturally from the Thomas solution for ion exchange. The results show that the membrane exhibit better performance in terms of capacity, and loss of the desired sugars. In addition acetic acid may be eluted at a higher concentration from the membrane thus leading to the possibility of recovery and re-use of the acetic acid.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)361-366
Number of pages6
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 2006

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-510-37155


  • Acetic acid
  • Hemicellulose hydrolysate
  • Ion exchange membrane
  • Ion exchange resin
  • Removal


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