Influence of Ceramic Membrane Surface Characteristics on the Flux Behavior of a Complex Fermentation Broth

Nicolas A. P. Maguire, Mehrdad Ebrahimi, Rong Fan, Sabine Gießelmann, Frank Ehlen, Steffen Schütz, Peter Czermak
2021 Membranes  
The valorization of agro-industrial residues using yeasts as biocatalysts requires efficient methods for biomass separation. Filtration with ceramic membranes is suitable for this task, however, the challenge of flux decline and the unavoidable cleaning must be taken into account. We investigated the filtration of fermentation broth and its components using tubular microfiltration and ultrafiltration membranes, and hollow-fiber ultrafiltration membranes, with cut-offs of 30 and 200 nm. The
more » ... y-state flux was limited by fouling under comparable wall shear stress conditions but increased when the wall shear stress was higher. Single-component filtration with two 30 nm tubular ultrafiltration membranes, whose average surface roughness ranged from 1.0 to 3.9 µm, showed that smoother surfaces experience less biomass fouling under more intense hydrodynamic conditions. Furthermore, we showed experimentally and by scanning electron microscopy in filtration with 30 nm tubular membranes that the thickness of the first separation layer is responsible for the degree of irreversible resistance caused by the deposition of organic material in the membrane pores. The thickness of this layer should therefore be minimized without compromising mechanical stability.
doi:10.3390/membranes11060402 pmid:34071382 fatcat:h3nqqs52jne4zkyzuofl6mndl4