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IKFT 01-2024 Bachelor Thesis - Influence of the competitive adsorption of guaiacol, phenol and catechol on the equilibrium capacity of Amberlite XAD-4 in a batch multi-component system


Job description

Lignin, one of the most abundant renewable organic materials in the world, is a waste product of the paper industry. However, being an aromatic heteropolymer, lignin is the most promising renewable source for valuable aromatic compounds, which are currently synthesized from fossil oil, or the production of synthetic resins, pharmaceuticals and more.

The aqueous phase product downstream of the hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of lignin consists of a complex mixture of phenolic compounds among which include guaiacol, catechol and phenol. Owing to similar physicochemical properties, their selective adsorption separation is challenging due to competition of one or more of the species for the active sites on the adsorbent surface.  This competitive adsorption has an effect on both the rate and equilibrium adsorption capacity of the system, which is of vital interest in adsorption process design.  It thus becomes imperative to look into how the interaction of these compounds affect these parameters using model compounds in a multi-component system.

Your Tasks:

  • A thorough literature review
  • Prepare solutions of aromatics with varying concentrations
  • Batch adsorption experiments in an thermostatic oscillator  using adsorbents
  • Use of characterization techniques such as HPLC, FTIR, NMR, GC etc
  • Assessment and interpretation of results

Personal qualification

  • A chemical engineering background.
  • Experience with separation techniques is of advantage
  • knowledge in chemistry
  • working language is English as well as written thesis


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