Solution Crystallization in the Biochemicals Industry

Solution crystallization is achieved mainly by evaporation, cooling or chemical reaction. Evaporative techniques are usually applied in cases where the solute solubility is nearly independent of temperature, and supersaturation is achieved by concentrating the slurry. Vacuum cooling crystallization is applied when solubility is highly dependent on temperature. Vacuum cooling crystallization has advantages in that there are no cooling surfaces, so incrustation is not an issue.

From caffeine to vitamin C

Coffein Crystals

For several decades, GEA has been active in plant design and equipment supply for solution crystallization of food and pharma related organics, such as citric acid, caffeine, glutamic acids and MSG, lysine, threonine, special sugars and vitamin C. We also provide equipment for related upstream products, including ketogulonic acid, sodium ascorbate, and sodium ketogulonate. 

Our expertise also positions us as an ideal partner for the design of associated waste water treatment systems for recovering valuable chemicals, such as sodium sulfate from vitamin C production, or sulfate as a by-product, and baker’s yeast (and bioethanol) vinasse concentration with potassium recovery. These waste water plants use GEA’s crystallization technology, along with related technologies such as membrane processes, flocculant-supported precipitation processes, and treatment with activated carbon, to achieve the high and consistent quality required. 

GEA operates a modern research center that can evaluate process designs and carry out detailed modeling, to ensure that full-scale installation will be successful.