<  Back to the Polytechnique Montréal portal

Study of separation and fouling of reverse osmosis membranes during model hydrolysate solution filtration

Olumoye Ajao, Mohamed Rahni, Mariya Marinova, Hassan Chadjaa and Oumarou Savadogo

Article (2017)

Open Acess document in PolyPublie and at official publisher
Open Access to the full text of this document
Published Version
Terms of Use: Creative Commons Attribution
Download (455kB)
Show abstract
Hide abstract


Prehydrolysate, a dilute solution consisting mainly of pentoses, hexoses, and lesser quantities of organic acids, furfural and phenolics, is generated in the Kraft dissolving pulp process. An obstacle facing the valorization of the solution in hemicellulose biorefineries, by conversion of the sugars into bioproducts such as furfural, is the low sugar concentration. Membrane filtration is typically proposed in several hemicellulose based biorefineries for concentrating the solution, although they are usually generated using different wood species, pretreatment methods, and operating conditions. However, the chemical composition of the solutions is generally not considered. Also, the combined effect of composition and operating conditions is rarely investigated for biorefinery applications. The purpose of this work was to determine the impact of the prehydrolysate composition and operating parameters on the component separation and permeate flux during membrane filtration. Using model prehydrolysate solutions, two commercial reverse osmosis (RO) membranes were screened, and one was selected for use, based on its higher sugar and acetic acid retention. A Taguchi L18 experimental design array was then applied to determine the dominant parameters and limiting factors. Results showed that the feed pressure and temperature have the highest impact on permeate flux, but the least effect on sugar retention. Further experiments to quantify flux decline, due to fouling and osmotic pressure, showed that furfural has the highest membrane fouling tendency, and can limit the lifetime of the membrane. Regeneration of the membrane by cleaning with a sodium hydroxide solution is also effective for reversing fouling. It has been demonstrated that RO can efficiently and sustainably concentrate wood prehydrolysate.

Uncontrolled Keywords

prehydrolysate; reverse osmosis; filtration; furfural production; hemicelluloses biorefinery; Taguchi experimental design

Subjects: 1800 Chemical engineering > 1800 Chemical engineering
1800 Chemical engineering > 1806 Separation processes
Department: Department of Chemical Engineering
Funders: CRSNG/NSERC, BioFuel Canada
Grant number: 437803-12
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/4217/
Journal Title: Membranes (vol. 7, no. 4)
Publisher: MDPI
DOI: 10.3390/membranes7040068
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes7040068
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2020 13:23
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2024 19:54
Cite in APA 7: Ajao, O., Rahni, M., Marinova, M., Chadjaa, H., & Savadogo, O. (2017). Study of separation and fouling of reverse osmosis membranes during model hydrolysate solution filtration. Membranes, 7(4). https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes7040068


Total downloads

Downloads per month in the last year

Origin of downloads


Repository Staff Only

View Item View Item