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Abstract Wood hydrolysates contain sugars that can be used as feedstock in fermentation processes. For that purpose, the hydrolysate must be concentrated and inhibitors that harm fermentation must be removed. Herein, the integration of these tasks with the recovery of inhibitors is studied. The wood hydrolysate is represented as a mixture of water, xylose, acetic acid, and furfural. Acetic acid and furfural are two frequently occurring inhibitors and valuable chemicals, and thus, their recovery is studied. Furfural is recovered from the vapors by heteroazeotropic distillation. It is shown that this can be achieved without additional energy. The recovery of acetic acid by distillation is also possible, but not attractive. The new process is simulated by using a thermodynamic model based on experimental data.
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