The formation of fouling deposits within
food processing plants is a severe problem limiting plant operation
and product safety. Fouling is a particular concern during filtration
and purification phases. With the ever-increasing importance of
hygiene in food safety, it is vital to understand the processes
involved in both fouling and cleaning and to design, operate and
control more hygienic food plants with minimal environmental impact.
This project was aimed at developing improved
microfiltration systems for the bio and food industry. First, the
surfaces of filtration membranes were chemically modified to reduce
fouling. Next, adapted flow modules were designed featuring low
hold-up volume. Finally, a microfiltration system using tubular
ceramic membranes was developed.
Prime partner Tech Sep's turnover was
three times higher than initially predicted within five years of
completion of the project, thanks to sales and service related to
newly developed products. At present a large fraction of this company's
total activity is a direct consequence of this project.