The effects of high concentration in the fine ultrafiltration of a solution of oligosaccharides were investigated both experimentally and using a mass transfer model based on the Maxwell-Stefan equations. At high concentrations, negative retentions were found for the smaller sugars, which cannot be ascribed to effects of ionic interaction, membrane adsorption or fouling. Instead, the behaviour could be quantitatively described by incorporating the effects of the thermodynamic non-ideality of the solutions and the effects of the pore size distribution. Experiments were performed to validate the model using as feed an oligosaccharide mixture with a concentration up to a 35% w/w. The model predictions allows the identification of an optimum feed concentration at which the efficiency of the separation is maximized. The results show that the fine ultrafiltration of sugars can be well described and predicted when taking into account the relevant thermodynamic interactions, the membrane pore size distribution and pressure effects.
|Journal||Journal of Membrane Science|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Jun 2019|
- High concentration
- Maxwell-Stefan equations
- Pore size distribution