Amalgamated Research LLC is a world leader in developing chromatographic technology to purify sugar solutions. ARi’s molasses desugarization technology uses simulated moving bed (SMB) chromatography to recover high-value sucrose from low-value sugar beet molasses, resulting in a high purity sucrose stream that can be further processed into crystalline sugar. In the same process, betaine is produced as a high-value byproduct. ARi has installed molasses SMB systems worldwide, operating at capacities of up to 750 tons per day.
ARi has developed similar SMB technology to produce liquid sugar directly from sugar beet thick juice and raw cane sugar, meeting purity, color, ash, and turbidity product specifications of bulk liquid sugar buyers. This SMB process eliminates the energy and equipment required to produce liquid sugar through crystallization and melting.
Direct Lithium Extraction
ARi has significant experience with the use of adsorbent-based technologies for the recovery of lithium from various brine feedstocks (commonly known as Direct Lithium Extraction, or DLE). In addition to this expertise, ARi has developed groundbreaking patent-pending technology for the use of simulated moving bed (SMB) chromatography for DLE, leading to substantial improvements in capital and operating costs for this application (including a reduction in water usage).
As a result of the highly symmetrical nature of its design, fractal fluid distribution can easily be scaled to any size. Since every hydraulic flow path within a fractal fluid distributor is identical, each flow path behaves in the same way, regardless of the size of the fluid distributor or the number of flow paths. This allows fluid distributors to be scaled up to very large sizes with complete reliability and predictability. Consequently, industrial processes, such as ion exchange and adsorption, can be tested at a relatively small scale and then scaled up to a full commercial-scale implementation without risk of reduced performance. This is impossible with the other fluid distributor types used in these applications, which increasingly lose effectiveness at larger sizes and result in full-scale industrial performance that is inferior to that achieved on a pilot scale.
The use of fractal fluid distribution thus significantly de-risks the scale-up of industrial technologies that are implemented on a very large scale, such as direct lithium extraction. It also saves money and time in the technology development process by potentially eliminating one or more scale-up steps (such as the relatively expensive demonstration-scale stage). For example, ARi routinely scales up industrial processes from pilot scale tests carried out in resin or adsorbent columns of 80mm (three inches) in diameter to full-scale commercial installations with vessel diameters greater than 6.7 metres (22 ft) while successfully providing process performance guarantees on the resulting systems.
ARi has already provided fractal fluid distribution technology to the lithium industry on an industrial scale, with the first DLE facility using this technology planned to go into commercial production in mid-2024.
High Fructose Syrups
ARi has extensive experience delivering industrial simulated moving bed (SMB) chromatography systems to purify fructose and glucose streams. Since installing its first SMB system for high-fructose corn syrup production in 1981, ARi has installed SMB systems for corn syrup applications worldwide. ARi’s SMB systems supply high purity streams for the production of syrups including HFS 55, HFS 90, crystalline fructose, and dextrose.
ARi have substantial expertise in the use of ion exchange chromatography to separate and purify proteins in the food, dairy and precision fermentation industries. ARi partners with customers to optimize the parameters having a critical influence on the economics of a protein separation, and to develop a customized solution that is optimized for the biomolecule of interest.
Specialty Sugars and Sweeteners
ARi has partnered with customers in a diverse range of industries to develop custom separation processes for various specialty sugar and sweetener solutions. ARi has used chromatography and other resin- or adsorbent-based processes to separate components in solutions containing fructose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, xylose, lactose, and other sugars.
Fuels and chemical building blocks derived from renewable sources are currently a strong focus area for global research and development in the process and chemical industries. Partnering with numerous customers, ARi has developed extensive experience in separating various components from biomass hydrolysates using chromatography and other resin-based or adsorbent-based processes. In this industry, simulated moving bed chromatography is typically used to produce high purity streams containing various sugars, such as mannose, xylose, glucose, etc. These sugars may then either be fermented or reacted to generate a wide array of products. ARi’s separation technology has also been used to target specialty non-sugar components in biomass extract, such as inulin.
ARi has developed custom chromatography systems for the separation of various organic acids, including acetic acid, citric acid, succinic acid, lactic acid, and more. Feedstocks such as fermentation products can be separated into a high purity organic acid and an impurity stream. The organic acid can then be used as a renewable feedstock for chemical production, such as using purified lactic acid for polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymer production.
ARi has developed and installed systems to perform various inorganic separations, including acid recovery from reactor product streams in the mining and biotechnology industries. Simulated moving bed chromatography vessels have been constructed using stainless steel, rubber-lined carbon steel, and CPVC to be resistant to acidic corrosion. Other components can be manufactured from polypropylene, stainless steel, Hastelloy, Alloy 20, or other suitable materials depending upon the chemical properties of the feed.
ARi offers efficient chromatographic solutions for THC remediation and cannabinoid purification. Using SMB chromatography, ARi’s HIPERCHROM system continuously separates cannabinoids with high productivity and high recovery. The system can be easily scaled to match any production rate, and the long-lasting adsorbents allow for a low operating cost compared to traditional chromatography solutions.
For more information, see ARi's application note on cannabinoid separations.