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Molecules 2012, 17(2), 1319-1334; doi:10.3390/molecules17021319

Microfiltration Process by Inorganic Membranes for Clarification of TongBi Liquor

1
Key Laboratory of Chinese Traditional Medicine Compound Separation Engineering, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210029, China
2
The First People’s Hospital of Nantong, Nantong 226001, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 December 2011 / Revised: 15 January 2012 / Accepted: 17 January 2012 / Published: 1 February 2012
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Abstract

Membrane separation is an alternative separation technology to the conventional method of filtration. Hence, it has attracted use in the purification and concentration of Chinese Herbal Medicine Extracts (CHMEs). The purpose of this work was to study the process of microfiltration of Tongbi liquor (TBL), a popular Chinese herbal drink, using ceramic membranes. Zirconium oxide and aluminum oxide membranes with pore mean sizes of 0.2 μm and 0.05 μm, respectively, are used for comparisons in terms of flux, transmittance of the ingredients, physical-chemical parameters, removal of macromolecular materials and fouling resistance. The results show that 0.2 μm zirconium oxide membrane is more suitable. The stable permeate flux reaches 135 L·h−1·m−2, the cumulative transmittance of the indicator is 65.53%. Macromolecular materials, such as starch, protein, tannin, pectin and total solids were largely eliminated in retentate after filtration using 0.2 μm ZrO2 ceramic membrane, resulting in clearer TBL. Moreover, this work also reveals that continuous ultrasound could strengthen membrane process that the permeate flux increases significantly. This work demonstrates that the purification of CHME with ceramic membranes is possible and yielded excellent results.
Keywords: Tongbi liquor; microfiltration; ceramic membrane; liquor quality; ultrasonic field; Chinese Herbal Medicine Tongbi liquor; microfiltration; ceramic membrane; liquor quality; ultrasonic field; Chinese Herbal Medicine
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, B.; Huang, M.; Fu, T.; Pan, L.; Yao, W.; Guo, L. Microfiltration Process by Inorganic Membranes for Clarification of TongBi Liquor. Molecules 2012, 17, 1319-1334.

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