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Coupling reverse osmosis and osmotic distillation for clarified pomegranate juice concentration: Use of plasma modified reverse osmosis membranes for improved performance

Bagci, Pelin Onsekizoglu, Akbas, Meryem, Gulec, Haci Ali, Bagci, Ufuk
Innovative food science & emerging technologies 2019 v.52 pp. 213-220
Gibbs free energy, contact angle, distillation, exposure duration, hydrophilicity, hydrophobicity, nitrogen, polyamides, pomegranate juice, reverse osmosis, total soluble solids
In this study, a low pressure nitrogen plasma (LPNP) activation was implemented to modify the surface characteristics of a commercial thin film composite (TFC) polyamide reverse osmosis (RO) membrane. The free energy of interaction (ΔGiwi) results showed that the hydrophobic nature of untreated TFC RO membrane became considerably hydrophilic with the effect of LPNP treatment. Among various plasma powers and exposure times tested, a general decreasing trend was observed for the water contact angle with increasing plasma duration, reaching a minimum of 13.2 ± 0.8° for 90 W at 15 min. A remarkable increase in water flux of the LPNP modified RO membrane was observed throughout the RO process, which promoted higher soluble solids content (SSC) values in the concentrated juice at the same period of time with the plain one. The higher SSC values achieved by the modified RO membrane enabled 30% time-saving during further osmotic distillation process.