Foam separation technology uses the principle that the surface active substances significantly reduce the surface tension of the solution and can be arranged in a unidirectional sequence at the gas-liquid interface, and through the drumming of gas into the liquid phase, bubbles are generated, so that the surface active substances are adsorbed onto the gas-liquid interface, and the buoyancy of the bubbles is used to achieve the separation of the foam from the liquid phase, and with the continuous drumming of gas, the surface active substances are gradually enriched in the foam phase to achieve the purpose of surface active substance separation and purification or liquid phase purification. It is a new green separation technology for the purpose of separation and purification of surface active substances or liquid phase purification. Foam separation technology is mainly divided into two parts: liquid phase adsorption and foam phase drainage.
Fig.1 Foam fractionation.
The nature of the natural product solution is an important factor affecting the foam separation effect, including the initial concentration, temperature, ion concentration and pH of the solution, as well as the influence of the instrumentation, such as the inlet volume, gas velocity, gas distributor aperture size, etc.
The initial concentration of natural product affects foam foaming by influencing the surface tension of the solution. The higher the concentration of natural product, the lower the surface tension, the stronger the foaming ability of the foam, the slower the discharge rate, the higher the recovery rate and the lower the enrichment ratio.
As the gas velocity increases, the time of foam in the separation column is shortened, which reduces the drainage time, so the enrichment ratio decreases and the foam volume increases, resulting in a higher recovery rate.
In the process of foam separation, the pressure of the liquid phase varies with the amount of liquid loaded, and the pressure has an effect on the size and distribution of bubbles, and the separation effect increases significantly with the increase of the liquid phase pressure, and then increases slowly.
Temperature is one of the factors affecting the liquid phase adsorption and foam phase drainage. The viscosity of the solution decreases with the increase of temperature, which is favorable to the foam layer drainage.
Increasing the ionic strength can improve the adsorption of protein at the gas-liquid interface, improve the discharge, increase the stability of the foam, and increase the foam yield to improve the recovery rate.
BOC Sciences offers a full range of services for the development and optimization of foam separation technologies, including the separation of natural actives and plant proteins through foam separation technology, as well as the optimization of this technology.
We can separate and purify triterpenoid saponins such as glycyrrhizic acid, panaxoside, ginsenoside, etc. from herbal medicines.
For the low concentration of proteins in plant extracts, this technology can achieve high enrichment and recovery, reducing the difficulty of its subsequent purification and productization; secondly, the foam separation equipment is simple, easy to scale up, mild operating conditions, and low impact on protein activity, which can reduce the cost of plant protein separation and ensure protein functionality.
We can enhance liquid phase adsorption by changing the nature of the material system or operating conditions, enhance foam phase drainage by changing the operating conditions, column structure or adding built-in components to change the foam phase structure and drainage path, improve the recovery of the target product by multi-stage foam separation, and optimize foam separation by continuous separation operation to achieve online in-situ separation of the target product.
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