Reactive extraction of lactic and acetic acids from leached bed reactor leachate and process optimization by response surface methodology

Debkumar Chakraborty, Sankar Ganesh Palani, Makarand M. Ghangrekar, Jonathan W. C. Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The present work focused on extracting lactic and acetic acids from the leachate collected from leached bed reactor (LBR) during acidogenesis of food waste using the reactive extraction (RE) process. A wide range of diluents was screened either alone by physical extraction (PE) or in combination with extractants using RE to extract acids from the VFA mix. Aliquat 336-Butyl acetate/MIBK extractants in RE demonstrated higher distribution coefficients (k) and extraction yield (E %) than PE. The response surface methodology (RSM) was used to optimize the extraction of lactic and acetic acids from the synthetic acid mix, using three variables (extractant concentrations, solute/acid concentration and time). Consequently, these three variables were optimized for LBR leachate. The RE was promising, and extraction efficiencies of 65% (lactate), 75% (acetate), 86.2% (propionate) and almost 100% for butyrate and medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) were achieved after 16 h of extraction. The RSM optimization predicted a maximum E % of 59.60% and 34.67% for lactate and acetate in 5.5 and 1.17 min, respectively. In the leachate experiment, an increase in E% and k was observed with increasing extractant concentration and lactate and acetate concentrations over time. Using a 1M reactive extractant mix and 1.25 and 12 g/L of solute concentrations, the maximum E % of acetate and lactate were 38.66% and 61.8% in 10 min. The results could contribute to developing a rapid in-situ product recovery system integrated with food waste acidogenesis for lactate and acetate recovery, contributing to the bio-economy.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Mar 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Leached bed reactor
  • distribution coefficient
  • extraction efficiency
  • food waste leachate
  • response surface methodology


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