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Open AccessArticle

Separation of Volatile Fatty Acids from Model Anaerobic Effluents Using Various Membrane Technologies

1
Research Institute on Bioengineering, Membrane Technology and Energetics, University of Pannonia, 8200 Veszprém, Hungary
2
Soós Ernő Research and Development Center, University of Pannonia, 8200 Nagykanizsa, Hungary
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membranes 2020, 10(10), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10100252
Received: 24 July 2020 / Revised: 18 September 2020 / Accepted: 20 September 2020 / Published: 24 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Technologies for Resource Recovery)
Effluents of anaerobic processes still contain valuable components, among which volatile fatty acids (VFAs) can be regarded and should be recovered and/or used further in applications such as microbial electrochemical technology to generate energy/energy carriers. To accomplish the separation of VFAs from waste liquors, various membrane-based solutions applying different transport mechanisms and traits are available, including pressure-driven nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) which are capable to clarify, fractionate and concentrate salts and organics. Besides, emerging techniques using a membrane such as forward osmosis (FO) and supported liquid membrane (SILM) technology can be taken into consideration for VFA separation. In this work, we evaluate these four various downstream methods (NF, RO, FO and SILM) to determine the best one, comparatively, for enriching VFAs from pH-varied model solutions composed of acetic, butyric and propionic acids in different concentrations. The assessment of the separation experiments was supported by statistical examination to draw more solid conclusions. Accordingly, it turned out that all methods can separate VFAs from the model solution. The highest average retention was achieved by RO (84% at the applied transmembrane pressure of 6 bar), while NF provided the highest permeance (6.5 L/m2hbar) and a high selectivity between different VFAs. View Full-Text
Keywords: volatile fatty acids; purification; reverse osmosis; nanofiltration; forward osmosis; supported liquid membrane; ionic liquid extraction volatile fatty acids; purification; reverse osmosis; nanofiltration; forward osmosis; supported liquid membrane; ionic liquid extraction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bóna, Á.; Bakonyi, P.; Galambos, I.; Bélafi-Bakó, K.; Nemestóthy, N. Separation of Volatile Fatty Acids from Model Anaerobic Effluents Using Various Membrane Technologies. Membranes 2020, 10, 252.

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