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Obtaining of tartaric acid from tartar

The answer to the “how to get tartaric acid from tartar” issue is pretty old. This multi-stage standard technique involves: extracting potassium tartrate from tartar with its further processing into calcium tartrate and treating calcium tartrate with sulfuric acid. All of the treatment stages are followed by washing, filtration, evaporation, crystallization, and recrystallization. Using this method, you’ll get premium tartaric acid.  

Although, mentioned stages have their own gaps:

  • Large amount of waste;
  • Obligatory reagents usage (sulfuric acid, calcium chloride, calcium carbonate);
  • High power consumption for evaporation and recrystallization.

Hence, it raises the question of if there's a way to get rid of limitations and high costs in tartaric acid production?  

Answer – it is.

tartar - raw material for producing wine acid

It does exist, but only under another production approach, assuming electrodialysis technology. The long-term benefits of this method involve skipping many stages of high energy demands.

The process implies dissolving the tartar and removing potassium from its composition, thereby forming two substances during electrodialysis: potassium hydroxide and tartaric acid solution. Due to the high-grade purity of tartaric acid solution, it doesn’t require recrystallization, thereby significantly reducing energy consumption for heating. The second pro of this technology lies in the refusal of reagents used in the basic technological process. Given reagents are included in production by-products and require expenses.

Thus, we can state with assurance that using electrodialysis considerably simplifies and reduces the cost of obtaining a high-grade purity tartaric acid solution process. It requires only the final crystallization stage. The main consumables for obtaining tartaric acid include tartar and electricity.

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