Purification of Bioethanol by Ionic Liquid Additives in Distillation System

Y.R. Lee, B. Tang, W. Bi and K.H. Row*

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Inha University, 253 Yonghyun-Dong, Nam-Ku, Incheon 402-751, Republic of Korea

*Corresponding author: Tel: +82 32 860 7470; Fax: +82 32 872-0959; E-mail: rowkho@inha.ac.kr


This study examined the potential use of ionic liquid (IL) as additives for the distillation of bioethanol from bioethanol-water mixture and applied an optimized distillation system to the purification of bioethanol from plant fermentation broths. Among the 9 ionic liquids added to the distillation system, [OMIM][BF4] has the greatest effect on the purification of ethanol from aqueous solutions. In addition, the amount of [OMIM][BF4], the initial concentration of ethanol in the mixture and the distillate fractions in the distillation system were studied systematically. Under the optimization distillation system using 2 g of [OMIM][BF4], 20 mL of a 99.4 % (ethanol, v:v) aqueous solution was distilled from 100 mL of a 20 % (bioethanol, v:v) bioethanol-water mixture and the boiling point (71 °C) was lower than that of the bioethanol-water azeotrope.


Bioethanol, Distillation, Ionic liquid, Purification.

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