Concentration of Milk and Whey by Membrane Technologies in Alternative Cascade Modes
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The aim of the present study was the evaluation of a membrane cascade comprised of ultrafiltration (UF) in series with reverse osmosis (RO) or nanofiltration (NF) in comparison to a single-stage process. It was found that the upstream UF accelerated the NF and the RO, whereby the effect was more distinct for the NF. The maximum volume reduction ratio (VRR) during skim milk and sweet whey concentration could be increased by 78 and 96%, respectively, by substituting a single NF by an UF-NF cascade. The replacement of a single RO by a UF-RO cascade during concentration of skim milk slightly increased the VRR by 3%. However, the energy demand could be reduced by approximately 16%. For the concentration of sweet whey, it was found that it is more advantageous to conduct the RO at a higher transmembrane pressure (TMP) instead of applying an UF-RO cascade.
KeywordsSkim milk Sweet whey Ultrafiltration Reverse osmosis Nanofiltration Membrane cascade
We gratefully thank Sabine Husby, Milena Wekel, Michael Reitmaier, and Christian Gottwald for help with data evaluation, useful discussion, and experimental support. This research project was supported by the German Ministry of Economics and Technology (via AiF) and the FEI (Forschungskreis der Ernährungsindustrie e.V., Bonn). Project AiF 16836 N.
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