Published: CABEQ 19 (2) (2005) 159–172
Paper type: Original Scientific Paper

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Separation of Lactic Acid: Recent Advances

K. L. Wasewar

Carboxylic acids are important commercial products. The requirements of carboxylic acids (lactic acid, citric acid, propionic acid etc.) are increasing every year. Therefore, it is important to have an efficient recovery method following the production of carboxylic acid. At present most of the manufacturers use the conventional method of recovery, which is the calcium hydroxide precipitation method. This method of recovery is expensive and unfriendly to the environment as it consumes lime and sulphuric acid and also produces a large quantity of calcium sulphate sludge as solid waste. It is, therefore, reasonable to look for other methods of recovery for carboxylic acid. Lactic acid is used in food, chemical and pharmaceutical fields, and a raw material for the production of biodegradable polylactic acid, both, substitutes for conventional plastic materials and new materials of specific uses, such as controlled drug delivery or artificial prostheses. This short review focuses on the developments of recovery of lactic acid from fermentation broth.

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Carboxylic acid, lactic acid, separation, conventional methods, new developments