The Concentration of Aqueous Solutions By Osmotic Distillation (OD)

Bailey, Adelaide Fiona Grace (2005) The Concentration of Aqueous Solutions By Osmotic Distillation (OD). Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This study was to investigate theory and application of Osmotic Distillation (OD). OD is a new novel membrane separation process used for the concentration of aqueous solutions such as fruit juices without the application of heat.

The present work was undertaken to investigate flux limitations focusing on feedside, membrane and stripper side characteristics of OD. Once the limiting areas were identified, further studies were undertaken to determine methods of minimizing those limitations without losing the quality and integrity of the liquid feed. A laboratory scale OD system was used to simulate the industrial process which takes place during the production of grape juice concentrate for the fruit juice industry.

Results of a UF pretreatment study showed that the use of UF membranes with pore diameters of 0.1 fÝm or less as a pretreatment for the subsequent OD of grape juice resulted in significant increases in OD flux over that observed for juice not subjected to UF. The study of the physical properties of the feed played an important role in the explanation of the OD process. The increase in OD flux was attributed to a reduction in juice viscosity as the result of the removal of protein and other high molecular weight components.

Apart from an increase in OD flux, UF pretreatment of the grape juice proved to be beneficial in other areas of the OD process. HPLC measurements showed that the normal concentration of fermentable sugars in standard 68 oBrix concentrate can be achieved at a lower Brix value in feed subjected to UF pretreatment, further reducing the need to handle highly viscous feeds. UF pretreatment also resulted in an increase in juice surface tension consequently reducing the tendency for membrane wet-out to occur.

The study of the deoxygenation of the feed solution shows that the removal of dissolved gases by the pre boiling method and the perstraction with chemical reaction (PCR) method both had a positive affect on OD flux. Pre boiling the brine resulted in an indirect reduction in dissolved oxygen in the feed. Pre boiling both the feed and brine, further increased the flux. Throughout the PCR study, it was evident that stripper side mass transfer of O2 was not limited by flowrate but was limited by higher stripper concentration. However, the latter had an insignificant effect when the sulfite-oxygen reaction was catalysed. The use of a catalyst and increase in temperature gave a significant improvement in overall mass transfer coefficient.

Ten types of hydrophobic microporous membranes were tested for their influence on OD flux. While the pore diameter is a considerable factor in mass transport of gases through the membrane, it was also noted that the type of membrane material used had an affect on the overall mass transfer. All top three performing membranes had pore diameters of 0.2 x 10-6 m and were made from polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).

The choice of brine to use as the stripper was based on criteria that were confirmed by the brine studies performed here. The best performing stripper solutions demonstrating the greatest improvement in OD flux over the most commonly used brines, NaCl, CaCl2 and CH3COOK were aqueous solutions of potassium salts of phosphoric acid, pyrophosphoric acid and blends thereof. These salts agreed with all the required characteristics of a suitable brine, demonstrating high solubility rates, supporting the ability to lower water vapour pressure. The study of the corrosion effects of brine salts confirmed the phosphate salts are superior demonstrating some of the lowest corrosion rates and highest pH.

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ID Code: 16006
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Johnson, Robert
Keywords: Osmotic distillation (OD), reverse osmosis (RO), membrane distillation (MD), ultrafiltration (UF), hydrophobic membranes, microporous membranes, juice permeate, juice retentate, concentration polarization, flux
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Schools > School of Physical & Chemical Sciences
Department: Faculty of Science
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Adelaide Fiona Grace Bailey
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:54
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:41

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