Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Improved procedures for separating crystals from the melt

Conventional procedures for the purification of organic bulk chemicals include distillation and extraction, which are very energy intensive processes. This research project demonstrates improved procedures for crystallisation from the melt capable of yielding ultra- high product purities with significantly reduced energy inputs.

Crystallisation from the melt is a highly efficient separation unit operation capable of yielding ultra-high product purities with significantly lower energy inputs than conventional technologies such as distillation and extraction. In a previous JOULE project, JOUE-CT90-0031, two major technologies, layer growth and suspension growth, were compared and optimised. This showed that suspension-based melt crystallisation has good purification and energy saving potentials, but these can only be utilised when a complete separation between the pure crystals and the impure mother crystal can be realised. In addition, operational and scaling-up problems have been experienced with this technology. This project therefore focused upon the combination of the suspension-based melt crystallisation step with efficient solid-liquid separation and countercurrent washing in wash columns. The underlying goal of this programme was the comparison and further development of existing countercurrent wash column technology for application in the area of organic bulk chemicals. The ultimate aim was to carry out a production run with a real industrial feed in a pilot plant.

Reported by

TNO Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research
Laan van Westenenk 501
7300 Apeldoorn
Netherlands
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