Skim milk microfiltration (MF) is a well established dairy processing operation to remove whey proteins. This is classically completed using ceramic membranes under the uniform transmembrane pressure (UTMP) concept. However, there is a growing interest in the use of spiral wound polymeric membranes for this purpose due to their lower capital cost. In this work we show that polymeric and ceramic membranes provide comparable performance during skim milk MF when operated at comparable levels of transmembrane pressure (TMP), shear stress and temperature. Operation is strongly affected by both TMP and temperature but is less affected by crossflow velocity under the conditions utilised here. However, while polymeric membranes offer similar performance, it will be operationally difficult to retain the necessarily low TMP at the industrial scale, due to the lack of a comparable UTMP configuration.
- Ceramic membranes and membrane separation processes
- Polymeric membranes
- Skim milk microfiltration