Recovery of Organic Acids from Fermentation Broth Using Nanofiltration Technologies: A Review

To cite this article: Khairul Zaman, N. et al. (2017). Recovery of organic acids from fermentation broth using nanofiltration technologies: A review. J. Phys. Sci., 28(Supp. 1), 85–109,


Organic acids are important targeted chemicals in the renewable biorefinery industry. They are widely used in various industries due to their variety of functionalities and less toxic properties. Conventionally, organic acids are produced through chemical processing using fossil raw materials. However, the biological production pathway has gained significant attention in recent years due to the growing environmental concern and movement towards green technology. To date, a variety of high-value organic acids such as succinic, lactic, butyric, acetic and fumaric acids have been produced via microbial fermentation. The primary challenge in the fermentative production of organic acids is the downstream recovery of the main products from the broth solution. Integration of membrane technology with other separation technologies in the downstream processing is deemed as a great opportunity for this purpose, for which membrane-based nanofiltration is seen as the potential technology. Nanofiltration offers several advantages such as great flexibility in the scale of production, high degree of separation and selectivity, and can be easily integrated with other separation units. This paper reviews the recovery of organic acids from fermentation broth using nanofiltration technologies, of which five types of organic acids are discussed in-depth. In particular, valuable findings concerning the effect of membrane properties, type of membrane used, and the effect of processing parameters on the organic acids recovery are highlighted in this paper.


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