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Purification of LUV Dye Using Column Chromatography


Project Background

To purify the crude LUV dye at Kodak, a toll manufacturer is contracted to operate a wiped-film evaporator (WFE) for the separation of dihexylamine and quat-propylamine from the crude LUV dye. Prior to the start of the project, the cost associated with purifying a kilogram of crude dye was $500/kg. At Kodak, 5 to 7 kg of crude LUV dye were purified annually, making the cost of the process approximately $2,500-3,500 per year. Also, purification of the crude dye via WFE netted a percent yield of 70% pure LUV dye recovered. With this in mind, the team was tasked with creating a lab-scale purification process that could:

  1. Produce purified LUV dye with the impurities being below the upper specification limits (USL) set by Kodak
  2. Obtain percent yields that are equal to or greater than the percent yield associated with the WFE purification process
  3. Create a process that is cheap, easily operated, and scalable from the lab prototypes to a process that can purify 2 kg/day in-house
Analytical MethodImpurityUSLMeasuredBoiling Point (°C)
UV-Vis SpectroscopyQuat-proplymine0.1% W/W%3.4 wt%>400.6
GC with Flame-Ionization Detector (GC-FID)Dihexylamine1.0 area%
0.5 area%
0.4 area%
0.7 area%
Table 1: Impurities concentrations and boiling points

Stakeholder Impact

Eastman Kodak Company, both the project sponsor and main stakeholder, was greatly involved with the team throughout the semester. When constructing the lab-scale process, Kodak impacted and assisted the team in the following ways:

  • Provided materials (free of charge!) for the preliminary prototypes
  • Provided feedback and design inputs on the team’s purification approach during weekly team meetings
  • Performed analytical testing for the determination of impurities in the purified LUV dye samples
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