Salicylic acid is an intermediate product in the synthesis of dyes, medications and aspirin. An electrodialysis module has been constructed with commercial cationic, anionic and bipolar membranes for the conversion of sodium salicylate into salicylic acid. The effect of operating conditions such as applied electric potential, salt concentration, initial acid concentration and volumetric flow on bipolar membrane electrodialysis (BMED) yields were investigated using Taguchi analysis. The results obtained in 210 min of work show an average concentration of salicylic acid of 0.0185 M, an average electric current efficiency of 85.3%, and a specific energy consumption of 2.24 kWh/kg of salicylic acid. It was concluded that the proposed bipolar membrane electrodialysis process is an efficient alternative to produce salicylic acid (SAH) from sodium salicylate (SANa) in an environmentally friendly manner. Furthermore, the production of sodium hydroxide was obtained as a by-product of the process carried out.
Keywords: bipolar membrane; electrodialysis; salicylic acid; taguchi method.