Taylor-Made Fuels from Biomass – Efficient Determination of Liquid-Liquid Equilibria


The Cluster of Excellence “Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass”

The goal of the Cluster of Excellence Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass (TMFB) is the interdisciplinary investigation of new synthetic fuels and chemicals generated from biomass. It aims at finding the best combination of selection and use of products and production processes. The research focuses on a holistic optimization with strong interaction of research projects in the fields of chemistry, engineering and economics.


The goal of the project

Multiphase systems are important for the chemical industry as wells as regarding the water partitioning behavior and stability of new biofuel blends. Because phase splits occur due to complex molecular interactions, their prediction is still difficult today. Therefore, experimental solubility data is needed. However, conventional experiments are usually time consuming and need large sample volumes and are therefore of limited suitability for the screening of new systems.

  Experimental set-up of the automated gas chromatograph Copyright: © LTT

Thus, the goal of this project is the development of new and efficient measurement methods for the characterization of liquid-liquid equilibria. In a first step, an automated model-based platform has been set up which combines the reliability and reproducibility of high-throughput technologies with model based experimental analysis. The platform allows for the fully automated analysis of liquid-liquid equilibria using GC or HPLC. To reduce the number of and maximize the information provided by the experiments, model-based experimental design is used. The experimental data are then used to parametrize thermodynamic models describing phase equilibria.

  ? Copyright: © LTT

However, standard analytical techniques like GC and HPLC are not very fast methods for sample analysis. In contrast, Raman spectroscopy allows for a fast and in situ analysis.

Thus, an automated setup has been developed which combines the advantages of both microfluidics and Raman spectroscopy. The small diffusion paths in the microfluidic channel lead to a very fast equilibration and a small sample consumption. Confocal Raman spectroscopy offers the possibility of in-situ concentration measurements needing only about few seconds per measurement. The measurement technique is non-invasive and can be done with high temporal and spatial resolution. These advantages make the combination of microfluidics and Raman spectroscopy highly beneficial for LLE measurements saving time and material.


Project Details