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A pilot scale study on the concentration of milk and whey by forward osmosis

Chen, George Q., Artemi, Anna, Lee, Judy, Gras, Sally L. and Kentish, Sandra E. (2019) A pilot scale study on the concentration of milk and whey by forward osmosis Separation and Purification Technology, 215. pp. 652-659.

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The concentration of skim milk and whey was investigated at a pilot scale using forward osmosis membranes with an installed membrane area of 24 m2. The pilot plant was operated in batch mode using a draw solution (48–57 g/L of NaCl) that mimics the potential brine streams available in a dairy processing plant. This approach avoids or limits the need for the regeneration of a synthetic draw solution. A concentration factor of ∼2.5 was achieved for both the skim milk and fresh whey, resulting in a total solids concentration of ∼21 wt% and 15 wt%, respectively. Increasing the transmembrane pressure was found to be effective in improving the water flux, whereas a much greater increase in the draw solution osmotic pressure would be needed to achieve the same enhancement of flux. This study also showed that small organic molecules, such as lactose, were not fully rejected by the forward osmosis membranes. A cleaning protocol was established for recovering the membrane performance after milk and whey concentration. The specific energy required for milk and whey concentration using only the forward osmosis step (5–10 kWh/t water removed) is much lower than that required by reverse osmosis. Forward osmosis is an energy efficient and effective process for dairy applications if unlimited access to a brine stream can be made available within or in the proximity of dairy processing plants.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Chemical and Process Engineering
Authors :
Chen, George Q.
Gras, Sally L.
Kentish, Sandra E.
Date : 15 May 2019
DOI : 10.1016/j.seppur.2019.01.050
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2018. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Uncontrolled Keywords : Forward osmosis; Dairy; PAO mode; Clean-in-place
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 15 Feb 2019 13:38
Last Modified : 23 Jan 2020 02:08

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