Review of Recovery Methods for Acetic Acid from Industrial Waste Streams by Reactive Distillation

Kiran D. Patil, Bhaskar D. Kulkarni


This paper addresses an industrially important problem of recovery of acetic acid from a wastewater streams via reactive distillation. The separation (or recovery) of organic residues from aqueous waste streams released from chemical and petrochemical industries is critical and indispensable from the points of view of pollution control and recovery of useful materials. The disposal of wastewaters containing most widely used industrial organic acids such as acetic acid, formic acid and propionic acid has been recognized as a significant expense to the industry and environment. In this paper, existing methods of physical separation of acetic acid from wastewater is presented. Available conventional techniques including fractional distillation, liquid extraction, adsorption, precipitation, ion exchange, etc. have been briefly reviewed emphasizing the major drawbacks of these methods. A new method – reactive distillation - for recovering acetic acids from dilute aqueous solutions is described and compared with the other conventional techniques. Reactive distillation is an efficient, economical, and environmental friendly method for separation of acetic acid from wastewater streams.



Clean technology, wastewater, pollution prevention, recovery of acetic acid, separation processes, reactive distillation, esterification

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