The chromatographic separation of carbohydrate mixtures
The separation performance of a semicontinuous counter-current chromatographic refiner (SCCR7), consisting of twelve 5.4 cm id x 75cm long columns packed with calcium charged cross-linked polysytrene resin (KORELA VO7C), was optimised. An industrial barley syrup was used containing 42% fructose, 52% glucose and 6% maltose and oligosaccharides. The effects of temperature, flow rates and concentration on the distribution coefficients were evaluated and quantified by deriving general relationships. The effects of flow rates, feed composition and concentration on the separation performance of the SCCR7 were identified and general relationships between them and the switch time, which was found to be the controlling parameter, were developed. Fructose rich (FRP) and glucose rich (GRP) product purities of 99.9% were obtained at 18.6% w/v feed concentrations. When a 66% w/v feed concentration was used and product splitting technique was employed, the throughput was 32.1 kg sugar solids/m3 resin/hr. The GRP contained less than 4.5% fructose, the FRP was over 95% pure, and the respective concentrations were 22.56 and 11.29% w/v. Over 94% of the glucose and 95.78% of the fructose in the feed were recovered in the GRP and FRP respectively. By recycling the dilute product split fractions, the GRP and FRP concentrations were increased to 25.4 and 12.96% w/v; the FRP was 90.2% pure and the GRP contained 6.69% w/v fructose. A theoretical link between batch and semicontinuous chromatographic equipments has been determined. A computer simulation was developed predicting successfully the purging concentration profiles at `pseudo-equilibrium', and also certain system design parameters. An important further aspect of the work has been to study the behaviour of chromatographic bioreactor-separators. Such batch systems of 5.4cm id and lengths varying between 30 and 230cm, were used to investigate the effect of scaling up on the conversion of sucrose into dextran and fructose in the presence of the dextransucrase enzyme. Conversions of over 80% were achieved at 4 hr sucrose residence times. The crude dextransucrase was purified using centrifugation, ultrafiltration and cross-flow microfiltration techniques. Better enzyme stability was obtained by first separating the non-solid impurities using cross-flow microfiltration, and then removing the cells from the enzyme immediately before use by continuous centrifugation.