This task in the Separations Consortium focuses on the development of counter-current chromatography (CCC), which is an advanced liquid-liquid chromatography method. Today, CCC is primarily practiced in batch mode operation, but continuous operation will be required for at-scale deployment in a biorefinery setting. In this task, we are developing a continuous CCC process in collaboration with a company that builds CCC units. This work will be demonstrated on the biorefining challenge of lignin valorization. Specifically, we demonstrate use of continuous CCC for both monomer-monomer and monomer-oligomer separations in multiple lignin streams of relevance to the biorefining industry. Breakthroughs in this area would be useful for BETO goals in both sustainable aviation fuel and biochemicals production, including directly contributing to BETO's 2030 lignin valorization goal. Our approach includes developing new computational modeling approaches to optimize both batch and continuous CCC processes, experimental work to determine optimal solvent systems for multiple lignin streams sourced from BETO-funded projects and industrial collaborators, and techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment to identify the most impactful areas to ultimately enable this approach in the biorefinery. This task overall will enable high-resolution, multi-component, continuous separations at scale, demonstrated on a grand challenge biorefining problem.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2023 U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Project Peer Review, 3-7 April 2023, Denver, Colorado

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-2A00-85697


  • biorefining
  • counter-current chromatography
  • lignin


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