The influence of temperature on filtration performance and fouling during cold microfiltration of skim milk

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France, Thomas C.
Bot, Francesca
Kelly, Alan L.
Crowley, Shane V.
O'Mahony, James A.
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Elsevier B.V.
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Changes in the physicochemical properties and distribution of constituents in skim milk during microfiltration (MF) at low temperature influence filtration performance and product composition. In this study, the influence of processing temperature within the cold MF range (4, 8 and 12°C) on filtration performance, fouling and partitioning of proteins was investigated. MF at 4°C required the greatest energy input due to the significantly higher (p< 0.05) viscosity of feed and retentate streams, compared to processing at 8 and 12 °C. The greatest and lowest extents of reversible and irreversible fouling during MF were observed on filtration at 12 and 4 °C, respectively. Chemical analysis of the cleaning solutions post-processing demonstrated that protein was the major foulant; the lowest protein content in the recovered cleaning solutions (50 °C water and 55 °C alkali) was measured after MF at 4 °C. The concentration of β-casein, β-lactoglobulin and α-lactalbumin in the permeate all decreased throughout MF, due to fouling of the membrane. The greatest decrease in concentration of β-casein in the permeate during MF was observed at 12 °C (18.1%) followed by 8 °C (17.1%) and 4 °C (13.6%). The results of this study provide valuable information on processing efficiency (i.e., energy consumption and protein yield) and membrane fouling during the processing of skim milk in the cold MF range.
Microfiltration , Membrane separation , Protein partitioning , Fouling
France, T. C., Bot, F., Kelly, A. L., Crowley, S. V. and O'Mahony, J. A. (2021) 'The influence of temperature on filtration performance and fouling during cold microfiltration of skim milk', Separation and Purification Technology, 262, 118256 (9pp). doi: 10.1016/j.seppur.2020.118256
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© 2021, The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (