Separation and Concentration of Citric Acid by Means of Electrodialytic Bipolar Membrane Technology

Senad Novalic, Klaus D. Kulbe

Institute of Food Technology, Division of Biochemical Engineering, Universitat fiir Boclenkultur Wien, Muthgasse )8, A-1190 Vienna, Austria

Article history:

Received September 20, 1997
Accepted June 17, 1998

Key words:

citric acid, separation, membrane technology, electrodialysis, bipolar membranes


Especially from an ecological point of view, it would be desirable to replace the conventional separation method (calcium-citrate precipitation) of citric acid from fermentation broths with new technology. One possibility is to use electrodialysis with bipolar membranes, which is a process using only an electrical potential and special ion exchange membranes. Beside the separation the citric acid is simultaneously concentrated, and concentrations close to the saturation point are achievable. In order to isolate and concentrate one kg of the acid around 9 MJ of electrical energy are required. The measured conversion rate is in average 6 x 10-5 kgm-2s-1 whereby the efficiency of the process lies around 70%.  


*Corresponding author: 
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