Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Degree Level



Chemical Engineering


Hestekin, Jamie


Biofuel production is currently an expensive and inefficient process with many drawbacks. It is water and land intensive, competes with food production, and requires large energy inputs decreasing its relative sustainability. This paper explores the use of electrodeionization (EDI) to improve the biofuel process by separating and concentrating large, organic sugar acids that are important materials for the production of bioethanol. An EDI device was assembled for the purpose of separating and concentrating gluconic, cellobionic and lactobionic acid. Several trials were conducted and samples were analyzed to determine the success of this experiment. The results for the separation and concentration of gluconate were slightly successful, seeing a complete depletion of gluconate in the dilute stream and an increase from 0 g/L to 0.92 g/L of gluconate in the concentrate stream. It is hypothesized that gluconate was lost to the rinse streams, since there is about 2 g/L of gluconate unaccounted for. The results from the lactobionic acid trial were inconclusive due to equipment failures and contamination of samples. Future steps will be taken to improve the overall process of electrodeionization, and figure out how different combinations of important variables can achieve the greatest level of separation and concentration of large molecules.


separations, membranes, biofuels