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Automated Fouling Mitigation System for Dairy Filtration Membranes

Buschmann, William
Eltron Research, Inc
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The proposed cleaning system will electrolytically generate the cleansing and disinfecting chemicals required for dairy processing filtration systems on-site consuming only water, electricity, and oxygen from air. The prototype 3-chamber electrolysis cell to be developed in Phase I will be used to determine the viability of applying this technology to the treatment of filtration systems. Alkaline hydrogen peroxide has increased cleansing and disinfecting power over pure solutions of each constituent individually. Hydrogen peroxide can be produced economically by this technology and is an environmentally gentle alternative disinfectant to chlorine and has much greater compatibility with filtration membranes.
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Processing milk and cheese whey by filtration has become a commercially valuable method for large-scale product separation and dairy waste treatment. Reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration are two of the most applied filtration methods currently used. Filter membranes must be regularly cleansed of milk fat, whey proteins and calcium deposits and be disinfected of harmful microorganisms. Cleaning is typically achieved by manual system flushing with alkaline and acid cleansers followed by disinfection with chlorine or hydrogen peroxide. The successful Phase I demonstration of the technology will be the basis for automated prototype system development in Phase II.

The technology will find application in industries requiring mitigation of biological fouling and disinfection and food processing filtration units used in many industries, biofouling inhibition/removal in heat exchangers and cooling tower loops used extensively in the petrochemical and power generation industries, and sanitation for hospitals and the biotechnology industries. The technology will also have application in water purification, wastewater polishing, and ship ballast water treatment through hydrogen peroxide promoted advanced oxidation processes.

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Bacterial Pathogens