This paper reports the study of the cross-flow microfiltration (MF) of glycerol fermentation broths with Citrobacter freundii
bacteria. A single channel tubular ceramic membrane with a nominal pore size of 0.14 µm was used. It has been demonstrated that the MF ceramic membrane has been successfully applied to bacteria cell removal and to effectively eliminate colloidal particles from glycerol fermentation broths. However, due to fouling, the significant reduction of the MF performance has been demonstrated. In order to investigate the impact of transmembrane pressure (TMP) and feed flow rate (Q) on MF performance, 24 experiments have been performed. The highest steady state permeate flux (138.97 dm3
h) was achieved for 0.12 MPa and 1000 dm3
/h. Fouling analysis has been studied based on the resistance-in series model. It has been found that the percentage of irreversible fouling resistance during the MF increases with increasing TMP and Q. The permeate flux regeneration has been achieved by membrane cleaning with 3 wt % NaOH and 3 wt % H3
at 45 °C. The results of this study are expected to be useful in industrially employing the MF process as the first step of glycerol fermentation broth purification.
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