Desalination, Vol.249, No.2, 802-808, 2009
Synthesis and characterization of cellulose acetate-polysulfone blend microfiltration membrane for separation of microbial cells from lactic acid fermentation broth
This work is focused on synthesis and characterization of a polymer blend microfiltration membrane for separation of microbial cells from lactic acid fermentation broth in a continuous process. The membranes were prepared by blending hydrophilic cellulose diacetate (CA) polymer with hydrophobic polysulfone (PSF) polymer in wet phase inversion method. Polymers were blended in N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) solvent (70 wt%) where polyethylene glycol was added as a pore former. The membranes were characterized in terms of morphology, porosity, flux and microbial separation capability. The best prepared membrane with PSF/CA weight ratio of 25/75 yielded a pure water flux of 1830 LMH (liter/m(2) h) and a fermentation broth flux of 1430 LMH at around 1.5 bar TMP (trans-membrane pressure). The membrane was successful in complete retention of microbial cells from the broth in a continuous crossflow membrane module integrated with the fermentor. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.