Applications Study of Membrane Distillation for the Dairy Industry

Hettiarachchi, Thilini Randika (2015) Applications Study of Membrane Distillation for the Dairy Industry. Research Master thesis, Victoria University.


Applications Study of Membrane Distillation for the Dairy Industry ii Abstract Membrane technology has been used for food processing for many years. Of the range of membrane technology types, membrane distillation is relatively new to industry. Membrane distillation (MD) is a thermal membrane separation process which was introduced in the 1960s. It is considered to be an alternative to conventional separation processes like distillation and membrane reverse osmosis (RO), and has been mostly studied for desalination and water treatment processes. Its application in the treatment of dairy process and waste streams has not, however, been fully explored. MD is regarded to offer potential to be a cost effective membrane technique for concentration of dairy process and waste streams and recovering useful water. Dairy waste treatment has become more important in dairy industry at present due to reasons such as importance of preserving water and reduction of waste produced. Therefore, it is important for the dairy industry to invest in cost effective and energy efficient membrane processes for dairy waste treatment to recover water and concentrate the waste streams. MD could be a useful membrane separation process which can concentrate the dairy waste streams and recover water. MD is a thermally driven separation process working on vapour pressure gradient across the hydrophobic porous membrane. The ability to harness thermal energy (either waste or heat flows within the dairy plant) is the key reason researchers are promoting MD as a cost saving compared to pressure driven processes like RO. In the basic operation of MD, the liquid to be treated is fed to one side of the membrane, but the hydrophobic nature of the membrane prevents the liquid from entering the membrane pores. The vapour transported from feed side to the permeate side is condensed and produces water. The aim of this study is to investigate specific applications of MD in the dairy industry and assess its viability to save water or offer benefits against competing technologies.

Additional Information

Master of Science

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 0908 Food Sciences
Current > Division/Research > College of Science and Engineering
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute for Sustainability and Innovation (ISI)
Keywords membranes, sweet whey processing, salty whey, sweet whey RO retentate, SWROR, salty whey UF permeate, SUFP, ion exchange regeneration stream, combined dairy effluent treatment, purification, Victoria
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