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Lactic Acid Manufacture Technology Description

Online Lactic Acid Data: Manufacture, Uses and Applications

Intratec Chemical Process Library is the first free online encyclopedia of chemical process technologies. Our Library covers not only processes description themselves, but also the economics surrounding chemicals production, providing real-world knowledge on the production of several chemical commodities. Click here to check all chemicals covered.

In this page you will find free data about Lactic Acid, including:

  • What is Lactic Acid
  • How to make Lactic Acid
  • Lactic Acid uses and applications

This page presents brief synopsis of Lactic Acid production technology, describing, in a concise way, relevant technical and economic aspects. Each manufacturing process description will consist of:

  • Major process steps
  • Simplified, schematic flow diagram & key equipment
  • Important safety or environmental considerations
  • Economic perspective, comprising capital expenditures and/or operating expenses

All content from Intratec's Chemical Process Library was produced based on reports published by Intratec. To learn more about Lactic Acid production processes presented below and others examined in Intratec reports, click here.

Lactic Acid Manufacture via Glucose Fermentation

Lactic acid is a naturally occurring chiral acid most commonly found in the L(+) form. Driven by a recent demand for more sustainable products, the lactic acid market has expanded beyond the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. Currently, a major growth application is for the production of polylactic acid (PLA) polymer. This biodegradable polymer has the potential to replace petrochemical-based plastics in applications such as packaging, paper coating, fibers, films and a wide range of molded plastic items.

Technology Description

The flowsheet depicts a process for lactic acid production via glucose fermentation similar to that developed by Purac (now Corbion; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; www.corbion.com). This process generates an 88 wt.% lactic acid solution in water that can be used as the raw material in polymerization processes. Rigorous control of fermentation conditions and additional purification steps are necessary to ensure both optically and chemically pure lactic acid. The quality of the PLA produced from it depends on the purity.

Lactic Acid Manufacture via Glucose Fermentation - Technology Flow Diagram

Fermentation

Glucose solution is fed to the fermenter. It undergoes a continuous anaerobic bacterial fermentation, and is converted to lactic acid. The fermentation temperature is controlled by circulating cooling water through internal coils, and the pH is controlled by the addition of CaCO3 solution, which reacts with lactic acid to form calcium lactate.

Recovery

The fermentation broth is decanted and concentrated solids are ...

Purification

Concentrated lactic acid is sent to a solvent-extraction system. First, it is contacted with an ...

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This synopsis is based on the report Lactic Acid Production from Glucose - Cost Analysis. (For more information, Click here).