This paper describes a new option for integrated recovery and esterification of carboxylates produced by anaerobic digestion at a pH above the pKa. The carboxylates (acetate, propionate, butyrate, valerate and lactate) are recovered using a strong anion exchange resin in the bicarbonate form, and the resin is regenerated using a CO2-expanded alcohol technique, which allows for low chemicals consumption and direct esterification. Paper mill wastewater was used to study the effect of pH and the presence of other inorganic anions and cations on the adsorption and desorption with CO2-expanded methanol. Calcium, which is present in paper mill wastewater, can cause precipitation problems, especially at high pH. Esters yields ranged from 1.08 ± 0.04 mol methyl acetate/mol of acetatein to 0.57 ± 0.02 mol methyl valerate/mol of valeratein.
- Anaerobic wastewater treatment
- CO-expanded methanol
- Methyl carboxylates
- Paper mill
- Volatile fatty acids