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An experimental investigation into the pre-treatment of synthetic membranes using sodium hydroxide solutions
- Jones, Sarah A., Bird, Michael R., Pihlajamäki, Arto
- Journal of food engineering 2011 v.105 no.1 pp. 128-137
- artificial membranes, brix, cleaning, feeds, filtration, fouling, molasses, molecular weight, sodium hydroxide
- In this paper the effect of two pre-treatment methods are compared experimentally for the filtration of (i) a spent sulphite liquor (17.8 wt.% dry solids) using a 20kgmol⁻¹ molar mass cut off (MMCO) fluoropolymer membrane and (ii) a molasses solution (45° Brix) using a polysulphone (Psf) membrane (1.5μm pore size). Both feeds are industrially relevant, and subject to severe fouling issues when membranes are used in their subsequent processing. The pre-treatment methods evaluated were: (i) conditioning with water at 60°C only [Protocol 1], and (ii) conditioning with water at 60°C followed by cleaning with 0.5 wt.% NaOH [Protocol 2]. Results are presented that confirm the benefits of sodium hydroxide preconditioning upon performance, supporting the suggestion by some membrane manufacturers that this step be included as part of the pre-treatment protocol.