Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Ampere 2019

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CONTINUOUS INDUSTRIAL-SCALE MICROWAVE-ASSISTED EXTRACTION OF HIGH-VALUE INGREDIENTS FROM NATURAL BIOMASS
Steven Splinter, Marilena Radoiu

Last modified: 11-10-2019

Abstract


An innovative technology for the continuous extraction of bioactive compounds from a wide range of biological materials has been developed, scaled up and successfully demonstrated at commercially-relevant scales. The technology, known as MAPTM, or “Microwave-Assisted Process”, robustly transfers from laboratory to continuous, industrial scale operation.  In wide-ranging trials, MAPTM has comprehensively demonstrated its ability to outperform many KPIs of conventional extraction processes, while offering biomass throughput, product consistency and low operational costs not attainable by other emerging technologies.

Radient’s proprietary continuous-flow MAPTM extractor, Figure 1, was designed for continuous processing of up to 200 kg/h of biomass material.

Verification of the mechanical integrity of the system was confirmed by flow testing of biomass / solvent slurries. Testing and verification of the efficiency of microwave energy transfer to the extractor cavity was completed at various microwave power settings using flowing water at 870 kg/h.  The microwave energy transfer to the system was verified to be >95 % in each case.

As an example of performance, continuous flow MAPTM extraction of the antioxidant SDG from flax biomass was performed using 70 % ethanol / water as the solvent at two different conditions:

-          75 kg/h flax / 5 L/kg solvent / 15 kW microwave power / extractor residence time 24 min;

-          110 kg/h flax / 5 L/kg solvent / 20 kW microwave power / extractor residence time 16 min.

The industrial-scale conditions for these runs were determined by extrapolating from optimized conditions previously obtained from batch lab-scale MAPTM experiments. The continuous flow approach eliminates the requirement for having geometric similarity between scales, i.e the equipment shape and dimensions do not have to scale proportionately.


Keywords


industrial microwaves, biomass extraction, scale-up, continuous flow processing

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