Towards Sustainable Solvent-Based Affinity Separations

Thomas Brouwer

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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This dissertation will focus on creating specific separation processes, called Solvent-based Affinity Processes, in which not only the energy requirements will be lower than current state-of-the-art processes, but also evaluate the use of sustainable solvents which can be produced from sustainable resources. The search towards alternative, better functioning, solvents is therefore not a new research topic and has been done for many decades. In Chapter 3, we compiled and visualized a comprehensive database of infinite diluted activity coefficients (γ∞) which is a highly specific parameter that describes interactions between the solute and solvent. Chapter 4 describes a methodology using the 3-component Margules equation to extend the applicability of the γ∞ towards realistic solvent to feed ratios, or in other words, finite concentrations. Chapter 5 assesses the possibility of predicting these γ∞ by using eight theoretical models, while Chapter 6 attempts to correlate γ from solely heat of mixing experiments via thermodynamic models which allows for the prediction of isobaric vapor-liquid equilibria. In Chapters 7 and 8, we screen biobased solvents, for the extractive distillation of resp. apolar and polar mixtures, while Chapter 9 extends this investigation into liquid-liquid extractions using a promising biobased solvent named dihydrolevoglucosenone (Cyrene). Chapter 10, combines all earlier experiments into rigorous process simulations to investigate the potential of Cyrene in the separation of an apolar mixture.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Schuur, Boelo, Supervisor
  • Kersten, Sascha R.A., Supervisor
Award date8 Apr 2021
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-5123-6
Electronic ISBNs978-90-365-5123-6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2021


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