Fluid dynamic gauging (FDG) was used to track the thickness of the cake layer formed during the microfiltration of a 45 Brix molasses solution using a 1.5 m polysulphone membrane. A simultaneous measure of flux and deposit thickness throughout the full membrane operating cycle is reported. Asymptotic fouling thicknesses of ca. 100 m are developed after 30 min of filtration. Accordingly, flux declines are severe at ca. 93%. Permeate line closed (PLC) operation leads to the complete removal of the deposit layer, and the recovery of 60% of the flux. However, permeate line open (PLO) operation leads to only a 50% flux recovery and an asymptotic deposit thickness of 10 m. An initial increase and subsequent reduction in flux during chemical cleaning has also been recorded for both acid and alkali cleaning regimes. Effective cleaning regimes for membranes fouled by molasses require an alkali stage followed by an acid stage.
Jones, S. A., Chew, Y. M. J., Wilson, D. I., & Bird, M. R. (2012). Fluid dynamic gauging of microfiltration membranes fouled with sugar beet molasses. Journal of Food Engineering, 108(1), 22-29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2011.08.001