Nanofiltration (NF) technology offers several advantages over classic separation processes. NF membranes have been increasingly implemented in water treatment processes (e.g., desalination of brackish water and seawater) and for wastewater (e.g., textile, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, and agro-industrial). The specific selectivity toward small solutes and the lower energy consumption of NF membranes have enhanced their use. However, some drawbacks need to be faced when NF is applied on an industrial scale. The main drawback is fouling that reduces the production capacity of the plant and shortens the membrane service lifetime if of irreversible nature, thus increasing the operating and capital costs. Moreover, fouling alters the selectivity of the membrane and thus the rejection efficiency. This chapter focuses the use of NF for the treatment of different agro-industrial effluents (such as dairy, tomato, and olive oil) and addresses membrane fouling as the main drawback against NF competitiveness.
Part of the book: Nanofiltration
Cheese whey, the co-product from cheese making processes, is a natural and cheap source of high value compounds, mainly proteins, small peptides, oligosaccharides, lactose, and minerals. Lactose is the main component (about 90%) of the dry extract of cheese whey. This carbohydrate has plenty of application in the food and pharmaceutical industries due to its relative low sweetening power, caloric value, and glycemic index. Besides, lactose is currently available for diverse physicochemical properties, namely particle size, bulk density, distribution, and flow characteristics, extending its use for a larger range of applications. Recovery of lactose from cheese whey can be carried out through different processes, such as membrane processes, crystallization, anti-solvent crystallization, and sonocrystallization. This chapter aims to furnish a deep insight into the performance of membrane processes for lactose recovery from cheese whey.
Part of the book: Lactose and Lactose Derivatives