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Application of a volume retarded osmosis–low pressure membrane hybrid process for treatment of acid whey

Choi, Jungwon, Im, Sung-Ju, Jang, Am
Chemosphere 2019 v.219 pp. 261-267
carboxymethylcellulose, osmosis, ultrafiltration, whey
This study evaluated the treatment of acid whey through a volume-retarded osmosis–low-pressure membrane (VRO-LPM) hybrid process. The VRO-LPM process uses pressure naturally generated inside the closed draw solution (DS) tank to regenerate the DS, making it an economic process. Poly (sodium-4-styrenesulfonate) (PSS) and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) were compared to determine which was a more suitable DS for acid whey treatment. Forward osmosis (FO) and ultrafiltration (UF) membranes were used in the VRO-LPM hybrid process because a single UF process showed high water flux and rejection efficiencies above 85% for both PSS and CMC. In both the FO and UF parts of the VRO-LPM process, PSS had a higher water flux than CMC. However, the increasing rate of the feed solution (FS) for CMC was greater than that of PSS, however the overall rejection efficiencies were similar for both DS. Therefore, the VRO-LPM process can be applied to acid whey treatment, and CMC seems to be a better choice of DS than PSS because of its higher concentrating ratio of FS and high overall rejection.