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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

A Membrane-Based Process for the Recovery of Glycyrrhizin and Phenolic Compounds from Licorice Wastewaters

Institute on Membrane Technology, ITM-CNR, c/o University of Calabria, via P. Bucci, 17/C, I-87036 Rende, Cosenza, Italy
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Academic Editor: Teresa Poerio
Molecules 2019, 24(12), 2279; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24122279
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 17 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Membrane Production and Membrane Operations)
In this work, the use of polymeric ultrafiltration and nanofiltration membranes was investigated in order to recover glycyrrhizin and phenolic compounds from licorice wastewaters. Filtration experiments were performed on a laboratory scale using four polyamide thin-film composite membranes (GK, GH, GE, and DK, from GE Osmonics) with different molecular weight cut-offs (from 150 to 3500 Da). The permeate flux and retention values of glycyrrhizin, the total polyphenols, the caffeic acid, the total carbohydrate, and the total antioxidant activity as a function of the transmembrane pressure (TMP) and weight reduction factor (WRF) were evaluated. In selected operating conditions, the membrane productivity decreased in the order of GK > DK > GH > GE, with a similar trend to that of water permeability. Glycyrrhizin was totally rejected by selected membranes, independently of TMP and WRF. For the other antioxidant compounds, the retention values increased by increasing both of the parameters. According to the experimental results, a combination of membranes in a sequential design was proposed as a viable approach to produce concentrated fractions enriched in bioactive compounds and purified water from licorice wastewater. View Full-Text
Keywords: licorice wastewaters; glycyrrhizin; bioactive compounds; ultrafiltration; nanofiltration licorice wastewaters; glycyrrhizin; bioactive compounds; ultrafiltration; nanofiltration
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MDPI and ACS Style

Conidi, C.; Fucà, L.; Drioli, E.; Cassano, A. A Membrane-Based Process for the Recovery of Glycyrrhizin and Phenolic Compounds from Licorice Wastewaters. Molecules 2019, 24, 2279.

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