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Membrane filtration

Tangential flow filtration (TFF) or Cross-flow filtration is a membrane-based process that relies on microporous membranes, generally with a pore size of between 0.1 and 10µ. Depending on the application, different membranes may be used:

  • Ceramic,
  • Organic polymer,
  • Stainless steel with a titanium dioxide coating.

The treated solution flows in parallel to the surface of the membrane and a transmembrane pressure of a few bars is applied.

Ultrafiltration (UF) is a membrane-based process for the extraction of a solvent (generally water), ions, or molecular solutes from a solution containing macrosolutes. The membrane pore size is generally between 1 to 100 nm. The solution to be treated flows in parallel to the surface of the membrane and a transmembrane pressure of a few bars is applied. The membranes retain any molecules with a molecular weight of over 5,000-10,000 Da.

Nanofiltration (NF) is a pressure-driven membrane separation technique that falls between ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO), using membranes with a pore diameter of around 1 nm. The technique is used to extract water at the same time as monovalent ions and substances with a molecular weight not exceeding approx. 200 Da. The applied transmembrane pressure is of the order of 10 to 25 bars. In the agro-food industry, nanofiltration is used to concentrate and partially demineralize solutions.

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a separation technique that uses dense, semi-permeable membranes to extract pure water from solutions containing salts (or other substances in solution). The applied pressure must be sufficient to reverse the normal osmotic flow (several dozen bars).

 

Applications