Process streams of agro-food industries are often large and viscous. In order to fractionate such a stream the viscosity can be reduced by either a high temperature or dilution, the former is not an option in case of temperature sensitive components. Such streams are diluted prior to chromatographic fractionation, resulting in even larger volumes and high energy costs for sub-sequential water removal. The influence of feed viscosity on the performance of simulated moving bed chromatography has been investigated in a case study of the recovery of a γ-aminobutyric acid rich fraction from tomato serum. This work addresses the chromatographic system design, evaluates results from a pilot scale operation, and uses these to calculate the productivity and water use at elevated feed concentration. At the two higher feed viscosities (2.5 and 4 mPa·s) water use is lower and productivity higher, compared to the lowest feed viscosity (1 mPa·s). The behavior of the sugars for different feed viscosities can be described well by the model using the ratio of feed to eluent as dilution factor. The behavior of γ-aminobutyric acid is highly concentration dependent and the recovery could not be accurately predicted.
- concentration profile
- simulated moving bed