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1. (WO2001038284) IMPROVED LACTIC ACID PROCESSING; METHODS; ARRANGEMENTS; AND, PRODUCTS

Pub. No.:    WO/2001/038284    International Application No.:    PCT/US2000/031979
Publication Date: Fri Jun 01 01:59:59 CEST 2001 International Filing Date: Wed Nov 22 00:59:59 CET 2000
IPC: C07C 51/44
Applicants: CARGILL DOW LLC
Inventors: QUARDERER, George, Jr.
ROBBINS, Lanny, A.
RYAN, Christopher, M.
Title: IMPROVED LACTIC ACID PROCESSING; METHODS; ARRANGEMENTS; AND, PRODUCTS
Abstract:
Methods for processing lactic acid are provided. The methods generally include vaporizing an aqueous lactic acid solution, for purification. Preferred conditions for the vaporization include pressures within the range of 30-200 mm Hg and an inert (nitrogen) atmosphere. Preferably the process is conducted on an aqueous solution comprising 60-75 wt.% lactic acid. Preferred equipment and systems for conducting the process are also provided. The process is preferably integrated with downstream polylactic acid prepolymerization or oligomerization. A preferred vapor stream for direction into such a downstream process is defined.