Separation of L-aspartic acid and L-glutamic acid mixtures for use in the production of bio-based chemicals

Y. Teng, E.L. Scott, J.P.M. Sanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Amino acids are promising feedstocks for the chemical industry due to their chemical functionality. They can be obtained by the hydrolysis of potentially inexpensive protein streams such as the byproduct of biofuel production. However, individual amino acids are required before they can be used for the further production of chemicals. Here, the separation of L-aspartic acid (Asp) and L-glutamic acid (Glu) mixture, which can be isolated from protein hydrolysis solutions at low pH or from electrodialysis of complex amino acid mixtures, was studied. RESULTS: Glu was converted into L-pyroglutamic acid (pGlu) which can be separated from the mixture of Asp and Glu due to its higher solubility in water. The conversion was carried out under aqueous or melt conditions. Under aqueous conditions, the conversion was studied as a factor of time, temperature and the amount of Glu. The conversion was specific with high yield and not effected by Asp. After pGlu was separated from Asp and residual Glu by solubility difference, it can be transferred back to Glu through hydrolysis. CONCLUSION: The conversion of Glu to pGlu is specific and can be applied to separation Asp and Glu for their use in the production of bio-based chemicals
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1458-1465
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • nitrogen-containing chemicals
  • amino-acids
  • biobased production
  • derivatives
  • hydrolysis
  • proteins
  • kinetics


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