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Influence of Spacer Design and Module Geometry on the Filtration Performance during Skim Milk Microfiltration with Flat Sheet and Spiral-Wound Membranes

Chair of Food and Bioprocess Engineering, Technical University of Munich, 85354 Freising, Germany
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Membranes 2020, 10(4), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10040057
Received: 15 February 2020 / Revised: 16 March 2020 / Accepted: 24 March 2020 / Published: 26 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Engineering and Applications)
Spacer design in spiral-wound membranes (SWMs) significantly affects the axial pressure drop in the flow channel but also the deposit layer removal. However, the effects of the spacer design and feed flow distribution in the module on the filtration performance have not yet been investigated during the highly fouling-susceptible fractionation of proteins from skim milk by SWMs. Therefore, a parallel spacer with no turbulence promotion and a less homogeneous feed flow distribution in the SWM was compared to a diamond spacer with regard to its impact on deposit formation and filtration performance. The experiments were conducted in a flat sheet test cell and in SWMs. The parallel spacer induced a more homogeneous deposit layer formation. However, no difference in filtration performance could be observed in the experiments with the test cell. Even though deposit layer formation dominates the microfiltration, its amount and spatial distribution could not be directly linked to the filtration performance. Furthermore, both spacers were assessed in SWM. Despite the higher crossflow velocity applicable in the more open channels of the parallel spacer, the performance of the parallel spacer was inferior to the diamond spacer. This was independent of the viscosity of the feed. Due to the high curvature of the membrane sheets close to the permeate collection tube, the cross-section of the flow channels in the SWM equipped with the parallel spacer was reduced. This resulted in a distinctly lower deposit layer control and performance, which could not be compensated by the resulting higher crossflow velocity far from the permeate collection tube. View Full-Text
Keywords: skim milk; SWM; parallel spacer; module architecture; deposit layer control; flat sheet test cell skim milk; SWM; parallel spacer; module architecture; deposit layer control; flat sheet test cell
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Hartinger, M.; Napiwotzki, J.; Schmid, E.-M.; Hoffmann, D.; Kurz, F.; Kulozik, U. Influence of Spacer Design and Module Geometry on the Filtration Performance during Skim Milk Microfiltration with Flat Sheet and Spiral-Wound Membranes. Membranes 2020, 10, 57.

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