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Membranes 2019, 9(4), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9040045

Recovery of Lignosulfonates from Spent Sulfite Liquor Using Ceramic Hollow-Fiber Membranes

1
Institute of Bioprocess Engineering and Pharmaceutical Technology, University of Applied Sciences Mittelhessen, 35390 Giessen, Germany
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
3
Faculty of Biology and Chemistry, Justus-Liebig University of Giessen, 35390 Giessen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 February 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 24 March 2019 / Published: 28 March 2019
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Abstract

Spent sulfite liquor is an abundant but currently less used wastewater stream from the pulp and paper industry. The recovery of lignin from this resource would provide an inexpensive raw material for the manufacture of fuels and fine chemicals. Here we investigated the suitability of ceramic hollow-fiber membranes for the concentration of spent sulfite liquor as an alternative to common membrane technologies. We tested three ceramic hollow-fiber membranes (3, 8, and 30 nm) in different membrane processes (fed-batch and total recycle mode) and compared their performance with the widely-used tubular membrane geometry. We also evaluated backflushing as a strategy to reduce membrane fouling during filtration. The juxtaposition of the two membrane geometries revealed that wall shear stress is the most important process parameter for the assessment of membrane performance according to permeate flux. The higher the wall shear stress, the higher the permeate flux. Due to the smaller inner diameter of the hollow-fiber membranes, higher wall shear stress can be achieved more easily. Backflushing had no effect on the permeate flux during the concentration experiments. View Full-Text
Keywords: ceramic hollow-fiber membrane; lignin treatment; lignin fractionation; lignosulfonate; spent sulfite liquor; backflushing ceramic hollow-fiber membrane; lignin treatment; lignin fractionation; lignosulfonate; spent sulfite liquor; backflushing
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Humpert, D.; Ebrahimi, M.; Stroh, A.; Czermak, P. Recovery of Lignosulfonates from Spent Sulfite Liquor Using Ceramic Hollow-Fiber Membranes. Membranes 2019, 9, 45.

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