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Clarification and concentration of sugar cane juice through ultra, nano and reverse osmosis membranes

  • Jegatheesan, Veeriah (School of Engineering, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds Campus) ;
  • Shu, Li (School of Engineering, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds Campus) ;
  • Phong, Diep Dinh (School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, James Cook University) ;
  • Navaratna, Dimuth (School of Engineering, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds Campus) ;
  • Neilly, Adam (School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, James Cook University)
  • Received : 2011.10.18
  • Accepted : 2012.02.10
  • Published : 2012.03.25

Abstract

The performance of ultrafiltration (UF) membranes with molecular weight cut off (MWCO) of 1000 and 3500 Da in clarifying sugar cane juice was investigated, as well as the performance of a nanofiltration (NF) membrane with MWCO of 200 Da and a reverse osmosis (RO) membrane in concentrating sugar cane juice. For both cases the sugar cane juice had been limed and partially clarified. The UF membranes were found to be effective at clarifying the sugar cane juice in terms of purity rise and reduction in turbidity, colour, starch and protein. A purity rise of approximately 6 was achieved by both UF membranes at trans-membrane pressures (TMP) from 15 to 25 bar. However, Brix reduction in the permeate was between 14.5 and 41.85% and 12.11 and 26.52% for 1000 Da and 3500 Da membranes respectively. For the 200 Da and RO membranes the Brix in the concentrate was increased from 7.65 to 12.3 after 3 hours of operation for the 200 Da membrane at a TMP of 10 bar, whilst the Brix in the concentrate was increased from 15.65 to 27.6 after 3 hours of operation for the RO membrane at a TMP of 35 bar. Overall, UF membranes were found to be unsuitable for clarification of sugar cane juice since significant amount of Brix is reduced in the permeate, whilst RO membranes were found to be effective for concentration of sugar cane juice.

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