Integration of membrane technologies in agroindustrial process stages
Document typeBachelor thesis
Rights accessOpen Access
Nowadays, several applications for the treatment of individual process streams as a source of water and technical fluids reuse are emerging. One of the agro-industrial challenges, apart from obtaining the desired final product, is to be able to recover or separate intermediate and/or secondary metabolites with added value. In this sense, different membrane techniques such as microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF), reverse osmosis (RO) and pervaporation (PV) can be used to treat these agro-industrial streams (such as milk, beer, wine, fruit juices, among others). Therefore, the industrial application of membrane technologies in some process stages could be a solution, allowing a greater efficiency as well as a circular economic concept of the process. In this work, the state-of-the art of membrane technologies in dairy and wine industry is reviewed in order to account for possible applications of membrane filtrations and to demonstrate their feasibility. Moreover, a market overview, focused on Spain, has been realized to select the most interesting industry between dairy and wine. Then, a scaling-up for those membrane applications has been done and a real chemical process has been simulated for the wine industry. Results showed that there are various possible applications for membrane technologies in these two industries. In addition, after the scaling-up, it has been demonstrated the feasibility to integrate the processes studied in previous works (published in the literature) into the industrial scale. The market overview showed that the most interesting industry in Spain is the wine industry because of this country is 3rd wine producer worldwide. Finally, according to the progress reported on both scientific literature and industrial solutions commercialized it can be said that in the next years the membrane providers and the agroindustries will make a step forward in membrane technologies integration in the production processes. The main effort has been centered initially on improving process performance however a window is open on the valorization of waste streams rich on bio-active molecules of nutritional or health interest (e.g. anti-oxidants).