Investigations of alkaline and enzymatic membrane cleaning of ultrafiltration membranes fouled by thermomechanical pulping process water

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21 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

The pulp and paper industry is one of the most important industrial sectors worldwide, and has considerable potential for the sustainable fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass to provide valuable compounds. Ultrafiltration (UF) is a suitable separation technique for the profitable production of hemicelluloses from process water from thermomechanical pulping (ThMP), but is limited by membrane fouling. Improvements in cleaning protocols and new alternative cleaning agents are required to ensure a long membrane lifetime, and thus a sustainable process. This study, therefore, focuses on the cleaning of polymeric UF membranes after the filtration of ThMP process water, comparing alkaline with enzymatic cleaning agents. The aim was to develop a cleaning procedure that is efficient under mild conditions, resulting in a lower environmental impact. It was not possible to restore the initial permeability of the membrane when cleaning the membrane with enzymes alone, but the permeability was restored when using a two-step cleaning process with enzymes in the first step and an alkaline cleaning agent in the second step. Scanning electron microscopy gave a deeper inside into the cleaning efficiency. Attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy analysis confirmed that not only polysaccharides, but also extractives are adsorbed onto the membrane surface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number91
JournalMembranes
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 10

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Water Treatment
  • Other Chemical Engineering

Keywords

  • Alkaline membrane cleaning
  • Biorefinery
  • Enzymatic membrane cleaning
  • Membrane fouling
  • Pulp and paper industry
  • Ultrafiltration

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