In-line Raman spectroscopy and advanced process control for the extraction of anethole and fenchone from fennel (Foeniculum vulgare L. MILL.)
Plants are a desirable source for molecules of all kinds and for every purpose. Besides traditional techniques for extraction, plants are challenging for modern process engineering due to great variations because of their natural origin. One way to ensure high quality and low costs, as well as highly resource-efficient extraction, is in-line monitoring and process control. This study demonstrates the use of in-line Raman spectroscopy for monitoring the extraction of anethole and fenchone from fennel seed as a typical example. A partial least square calibration model with high accuracy was created. (Anethole: R2 = 0.99, root mean square error of calibration (RMSEC) = 0.01256 g/L, root mean square error of validation (RMSEV) = 0.02608 g/L, and calibration range up to 2 g/L. Fenchone: R2 = 0.98, RMSEC = 0.01188 g/L, RMSEV = 0.01945 g/L, and calibration up to 0.75 g/L.) These data are directly linked to a physicochemical process model to control the extraction process in real time and to perform predictive simulations while processing. The added value of this approach for modern phytoextraction is highlighted and exemplified as a major step toward sustainable Green Extraction processes.
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