G5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Identification of extractives and polysaccharides as foulants in membrane filtration of pulp and paper mill effluents

LUT Authors / Editors

Publication Details
Authors: Puro Liisa
Publication year: 2011
Language: English
Related Journal or Series Information: Acta Universitatis Lappeenrantaensis
Series: Acta Universitatis Lappeenrantaensis
ISBN: 978-952-265-198-3
eISBN: 978-952-265-199-0
JUFO-Level of this publication:
Open Access: Not an Open Access publication

The search for new renewable materials has intensified in recent years. Pulp and paper mill process streams contain a number of potential compounds which could be used in biofuel production and as raw materials in the chemical, food and pharmaceutical industries. Prior to utilization, these compounds require separation from other compounds present in the process stream. One feasible separation technique is membrane filtration but to some extent, fouling still limits its implementation in pulp and paper mill applications. To mitigate fouling and its effects, foulants and their fouling mechanisms need to be well understood. This thesis evaluates fouling in filtration of pulp and paper mill process streams by means of polysaccharide model substance filtrations and by development of a procedure to analyze and identify potential foulants, i.e. wood extractives and carbohydrates, from fouled membranes. The model solution filtration results demonstrate that each polysaccharide has its own fouling mechanism, which also depends on the membrane characteristics. Polysaccharides may foul the membranes by adsorption and/or by gel/cake layer formation on the membrane surface. Moreover, the polysaccharides interact, which makes fouling evaluation of certain compound groups very challenging. Novel methods to identify wood extractive and polysaccharide foulants are developed in this thesis. The results show that it is possible to extract and identify wood extractives from membranes fouled in filtration of pulp and paper millstreams. The most effective solvent was found to be acetone:water (9:1 v/v) because it extracted both lipophilic extractives and lignans at high amounts from the fouled membranes and it was also non-destructive for the membrane materials. One hour of extraction was enough to extract wood extractives at high amounts for membrane samples with an area of 0.008 m2. If only qualitative knowledge of wood extractives is needed a simplified extraction procedure can be used. Adsorption was the main fouling mechanism in extractives-induced fouling and dissolved fatty and resin acids were mostly the reason for the fouling; colloidal fouling was negligible. Both process water and membrane characteristics affected extractives-induced fouling. In general, the more hydrophilic regenerated cellulose (RC) membrane fouled less that the more hydrophobic polyethersulfone (PES) and polyamide (PA) membranes independent of the process water used. Monosaccharide and uronic acid units could also be identified from the fouled synthetic polymeric membranes. It was impossible to analyze all monosaccharide units from the RC membrane because the analysis result obtained contained degraded membrane material. One of the fouling mechanisms of carbohydrates was adsorption. Carbohydrates were not potential adsorptive foulants to the same extent as wood extractives because their amount in the fouled membranes was found to be significantly lower than the amount of wood extractives.

Last updated on 2017-22-03 at 15:56