Selective Removal of Aromatic Amino Acids From a Complex Mixture Containing at Least all 20 Amino Acids

Currently many waste streams contain a mixture of amino acids which represent a low value. This situation can be significantly improved if it would be possible to concentrate the amino acids, and even more when this concentration would strongly favour specific amino acids. For polar/charged amino acids several such processes exist, but for apolar amino acids this is not easily achievable using currently existing methods.

Aromatic amino acids dissolve relatively good in apolar media. By the use of solvent impregnated resins (Figure 2), it should be feasible to differentiate between polar and apolar amino acids in their neutral forms. Highly polar amino acids will dissolve to a smaller degree in the apolar phase than apolar amino acids. This can be stimulated by the use of complex forming compounds in the apolar phase, which mask the polar group present in any amino acids and thus leave the rest group as the most exposed and differentiating moiety to the solvent.
Figure 1. Addition of water-insoluble complexing agents to the oil phase in the pores of SIRs will enhance the extraction of organics from water phases that pass along a SIR.

The aim of this project is to do precisely the separation of, with a specific emphasis on apolar, aromatic amino acid (Figure 1) from agricultural waste.

Figure 2. Aromatic amino acid

Fields of interests:
Chemical separation, computational chemistry