Continuous Aqueous Two-Phase System Processes
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© 2017, Springer International Publishing AG. Aqueous two-phase system is a liquid-liquid extraction technique that can be carried out in continuous mode. For this, equipment commonly employed for the chemical industry (columns and mixer settlers) has been used. However, given the characteristics of density, viscosity, and interfacial tension and the diverse nature of the phases, some of them have to be modified. The ideal equipment should contain the elements to perform all the unit operations for batch systems in an integrated system with automation possibilities. This would facilitate the integration of the continuous ATPS approaches to a more sophisticated purification train. So, in this chapter, a platform for selection, characterization, and scaling of continuous ATPS is presented. From microscale to pilot plant scale, continuous systems imply multiple advantages over batch platforms, such as reduction in buffer consumption, diminishing process time/costs, an increase in process yields, higher throughputs, and smaller footprints. Nonetheless, elements such as recirculation or phase recycling should be considered for a more appropriate equipment design, as well as mathematical modeling and fluid dynamic simulation of the system streams, which would be of great help for the design and development of this kind of technology.