Critical flux in ultrafiltration of skimmed milk
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1205/096030803322756385
he best operating conditions, using the critical flux concept during ultrafiltration of skimmed milk, were evaluated for tubular membranes. It was found that irreversible fouling was greatly reduced by operating at or below the critical flux, but was not totally eliminated. The critical flux of skimmed milk was found to be the weak form. The critical flux at cross flow velocity 3.4 in s(-1) for MWCO 200 kDa membrane was 56.9 kg m(-2) h(-1) while for MWCO 25 kDa membranes it was 45 kg m(2) h(-1) suggesting that membrane pore size influenced the flux. The critical flux increased with increasing wall shear stress and decreased with increasing protein concentration. Empirical equations, for predicting the critical flux (J(crit)) for skimmed milk with a protein concentration (c(b)) in the range 3-7% w/w and wall shear stress (tau(w)) in the range 7-60 Pa for MWCO 200 kDa and 25 kDa membranes were J(crit) = 5.1 (tau(w)/c(b)) and J(crit) = 4.0 (tau(w)/c(b)) respectively. In general, the rejections of protein and lactose at the critical flux were not affected by protein concentration, wall shear stress and membrane used, and they were similar to those found when operating at the limiting flux.