Membrane Technology, Volume 3: Membranes for Food Applications

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  1. Plate and frame forward osmosis membrane modules
  2. Description
  3. Choosing the Right Membrane | PCI Membranes
  4. Membranes for Food Applications

Effects of draw solution on water flux and reverse solute flux. With respect to chemical cleaning a wide variety of cleaning agents are used in membrane maintenance operations REF. Both organic and organic acids are effective cleaners for scale compounds and metal oxides. In general, cleaning efficiency is dependent on concentration, cleaning time, temperature, and hydrodynamic conditions.

Thus, a comprehensive testing regime would entail a large set of testing conditions. Here, we will limit the examples to the use of citric acid and ethylene-diamine tetraacetic acid EDTA. The results shown in Table 3 demonstrate that the biomimetic membranes can be subjected to cleaning regimes at low and high pH without detrimental effects on the membrane performance. Effects of cleaning agents. Cleaning treatments were performed by circulating 0. Experimental conditions as given in the legend to Table 1.

Next step after laboratory testing is pilot testing. Pilot testing is necessary in order to prove the durability of the technology in an industrial setting. Pilot testing typically consists of small processing units that are placed in the location where it is planned to set-up a full scale system. For some applications, other operating conditions are more suitable for tests; however, this must be evaluated for each case. Finally, there is the question of membrane lifetime. Biological membranes, per se , cannot be considered to be stable in the long term as continuous exchange of lipid molecules and proteins is a fundamental feature of such membranes.

Currently biomimetic membranes are only available in small scale—thus, it still remains to be seen how such membranes behave in long term operation. As a supplier of a new process technology it is also important to keep an open mind-set in the dialogue with your customer.

One must listen carefully to any objections or concerns that might arise, and one must be prepared to change the specifications of your product to satisfy the customer. Most likely you can learn a lot from the customer comments. Through this relative intense dialogue with the customer you have the chance of establishing an added benefit; you have the chance to build integrity and credibility.

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Plate and frame forward osmosis membrane modules

At the end of the day, it requires a lot of trust to persuade an organization to bring in a new process technology. Engaging in a close dialogue with the customer is the only way to build this trust. Generally, introducing a new process technology in a business-to-business market presents a number of challenges. Most of the research that has been carried out regarding launching a new technology in general has focused on the business-to-customer market with less focus on the business-to-business market [ 22 ].

The decision making process when acquiring a new process technology is different from the decision-making process buying raw materials or consumables, as the impact is both more substantial and longer lasting. More stakeholders have to be taken into account and consequently the decision-making process when buying a new process technology is more complicated.

When both the stakes are high and more stakeholders are involved in the process, it is likely that the whole decision-making process will have a high degree of risk aversion. Making a bold move might be perceived by individual stakeholders as a risk to their personal career prospects even though it makes perfect sense for the organization as a whole. Risk can be moderated by being well prepared and by having the necessary funding available when launching a new production technology. In the pharmaceutical industry it has been found that firms that provide higher per-product levels of marketing and technology support obtain much greater financial rewards from their radical innovations than do other firms [ 23 ].

The complexity involved when launching a new production technology implies that it pays off to be very thorough in preparing market entry. Choosing the right process technology will have significant economic effect for the purchasing organization. The consequences will be boosted by the fact that once a decision is made—to introduce a specific new technology—this decision cannot be changed for several years, because the consequences will only be experienced little by little over several years. The results of using a new process technology can only be discovered after a considerable amount of time as it takes time to run-in a new technology, adapt it to customer-specific circumstances, train operators, optimize the technology, etc.

This means that by the time a possible mistake in the choice of technology is discovered, lots of resources have been wasted. Often the continuous optimization of a new process technology is the key to the success of the technology as the accumulated, continuous improvement is what creates superior performance in the long run.

Needless to say, it is very hard to assess such future effects and, thus, the decision to introduce a new process technology is a decision that must cope with uncertainty. As a consequence of the uncertainty, it is likely that the decision-making process of the key stakeholders becomes more conservative. In fact, it is likely that the risk aversion at the individual level in the organization becomes so prevalent that the decision-making process for the organization as a whole becomes seriously flawed.

Lecture 46: Tertiary Treatment: Membrane Processes

The risk of this is higher in some types of organization than in others. A large corporate organization where the decision making process is based on a certain degree of consensus is probably most at risk of not daring to take a calculated risk and go for a new process technology. An entrepreneurial-led organization is probably less likely to avoid risk-taking as risk-taking is often part of the self-belief of such organizations. Most new technologies for water treatment applications will face high barriers to adoption.

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From an industry point of view, this is equivalent to high entry barriers for new technology providers entering the existing market space [ 24 ]; the reason being that proven technologies with long operational track records, are already being used to provide adequate and dependable treatment for the entire spectrum of water treatment applications. Hence, industrial end-users must be convinced on several parameters before they are willing to adopt new water treatment technologies:. Proven track record of long-term operational stability in similar industrial settings.

Technology suppliers must be well established both from a financial and production capacity point of view.


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Providers of new technologies, who are not able to fulfil the points above, must select beach-head applications where industrial end-users face the highest pains using conventional technologies. Aquaporin-based biomimetic FO membranes for dairy industries as a pre-treatment step to remove urea from process water streams. Here, conventional membrane technologies are unable to achieve sufficiently high urea rejections. Here, conventional technologies are either bulky i. Aquaporin-based biomimetic FO membranes for direct dewatering of challenging industrial wastewaters in biorefinery industries.

Here, fermentation feed stocks and wastewater streams are currently handled independently. By using fermentation feed stocks as a draw solution to directly dewater wastewater streams through a FO process, significant resource and energy savings can be realized. Conventional RO membranes are not applicable in this case due to their propensity to foul. Aquaporin-based biomimetic RO membranes for suppliers of low-pressure household water purifiers.

In this water treatment segment there is a constant consumer demand for more efficient and more compact purifier systems. Conventional RO membrane technologies have reached their performance limit and—as such—new technologies with higher productivity are needed to satisfy consumer demands. Aquaporin-based FO membrane assisted crystallization of Na 2 CO 3 , allowing its reuse, after CO 2 capture from flue gases by an alkaline solution. The most developed technology today for CO 2 capture is amine-based absorption. Despite high selectivity and loading capacity, a large amount of energy is needed for regeneration of the amine absorbents about 3.

Thus, there is a need for more energy efficient solutions. This model is used to analyze the strength of a current competitive position e. Bargaining power of suppliers: Important in the sense that a crucial component of the final product is a membrane protein, which currently is not commercially available. However several large-scale protein producers exist globally and this generally will tend to diminish the supply-risk associated with using the aquaporin protein in the membrane technology. All other membrane components used are commercially-available bulk commodities where the power of supplies must be regarded as very low.

For the dairy process water reclamation application the customer force is low, because the application is unique and covered by Intellectual Property Rights IPR , therefore the customer can decide to proceed or not. Threats of new entrants: This force is low in the dairy membrane industry, because there is a very conservative attitude towards processes and, thereby, supplier references. The marketplace is, in general, dominated by three large global competitors and a number of small local players. Threat of substitutes: From a product point, this force in general is low in the dairy industry, because membrane filtration is a well-established technology, with high barriers of entry, because of high knowledge demand.

In addition the industry is very technology-conservative. For the specific application dairy process water treatment , no alternative technology has been recognized the last three years. From a technical point the application can be either based on RO or FO technology. RO membranes are a well-established technology—this may be an important threat as current RO membranes are low-cost commodities. FO is an emergent technology and the threat right now is less compared to RO.


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On the other hand the number of FO membrane producers is likely to increase in the near future which may increase the threat of substitute products based on FO technology. Rivalry of competitors: The membrane industry is characterized by a few large players with little focus on research and development reflected in the percentage allocated to R and D of the overall revenue. A successful implementation proof-of-market of the biomimetic aquaporin technology can improve customer value supporting higher prices as it serves an unmet need easy removal of small organic contaminants from process water.

This may lead to an increase of the average profitability as new market segments emerge. Thus, an increased rivalry is to be expected in the future.

Choosing the Right Membrane | PCI Membranes

However, it will in many cases be an advantage to see customers and suppliers as partners with a common goal and thereby achieve some mutual common benefits. This is not possible if one constantly work against each other. As a relatively small company launching a novel technology it is essential to establish Strategic Commercial Partnerships SCP with system contractors. A SCP is a long-term alliance, where both partners collaborate in order to optimize the use of a specific technology for a specific application or market. Aquaporin needs SCPs because end-users require complete systems, not just key components.

In this sense, the stakeholders may in fact be considered as SCPs for the development of the biomimetic membrane technology. In this way, both parties commit to an investment in each other of time and money. From the point of view of the new innovative company, the risk in this investment is the uncertainty about how attractive the partner will be in the long run, i.

The risk is accepted because both parties believe that the return on investment will cope. This will also help in minimize the risk of missing the opportunity to claim new strategic positions. The success of a new innovative product on the market can be hindered by one or more of the barriers and challenges discussed here. In order to overcome barriers for market introduction one can either focus on the barriers that can be influenced without much R and D effort or address barriers that have a relatively high chance to be dismantled successfully e.

For biomimetic membranes the first type of barrier focus could arise from the fact that aquaporins are indeed the natural way of filtering water. For the second type of barrier focus, the superior performance in terms of flux and rejection of biomimetic membranes [ 13 , 28 ], may diminish market entry barriers in specific water market segments. By identifying segments where for example solute rejection is crucial, one may be able to identify customer needs currently unmet by conventional membrane technology.

Finally, new barriers are likely to emerge in particular in environmental segments where policy driven changes may change the barrier landscape considerably. One example is the zero liquid discharge ZLD concept according to which essentially no liquid waste should leave the premises of an industrial unit [ 29 ].

The definition may be simple, but the implementation of ZLD can be complex. Thus, in a ZLD system it is vital that micro-contaminants, trace organics etc. Here, high rejection biomimetic membranes may in fact be a part of the solution—but no matter the segment—successful market entry depends on establishing and maintaining a good dialog with the customer—here not just regarded as a buying consumer but indeed as a strategic commercial partner. Mark Perry contributed to Section 1 , Section 2 and Section 6. Steen Ulrik Madsen contributed to Section 4 and Section 5. Karsten Lauritzen contributed to Section 6.

National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Membranes Basel v.

Membranes for Food Applications

Membranes Basel. Published online Nov 5. Find articles by Steen Ulrik Madsen. Find articles by Sylvie Braekevelt. Chuyang Tang, Academic Editor. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Received Aug 24; Accepted Oct This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract The discovery of selective water channel proteins—aquaporins—has prompted growing interest in using these proteins, as the building blocks for designing new types of membranes.

Keywords: aquaporin membranes, biomimetics, commercialization, early stage technology. Open in a separate window. Figure 1. Figure 2. Up-scaling Challenges in Biomimetic Membrane Production Many of the approaches for designing new membranes involve existing or new polymeric materials where most of these already are available in industrial quantities.

Challenges in Launching a New Membrane Technology Launching a new membrane technology possesses all of the challenges mentioned in the previous section. Some of the basic testing conditions tested include: pH resistance. Membranes exposed to pH 2 and pH 11 followed by a performance test. Test of membrane performance as a function of shelf life. Test of compatibility of the FO membrane with different types of draw solutions.

Test of various detergents and anti-scaling agents. Table 1 Effect of high and low pH feed values. Table 2 Effects of high and low operational temperatures. Figure 3. Figure 4. Table 3 Effects of cleaning agents. Business Models for the Introduction of a New Process Technology Generally, introducing a new process technology in a business-to-business market presents a number of challenges.

Selection of Beach-Head Applications for Biomimetic Aquaporin Membrane Technology Most new technologies for water treatment applications will face high barriers to adoption. Figure 5. Perspectives and Outlook The success of a new innovative product on the market can be hindered by one or more of the barriers and challenges discussed here. References 1. Leclerc G. Water: Challenges Drivers and Solutions. Ghimire S. Allopurinol - A Medical Dictionary, Bibliography, and Annotated Research Guide to Internet References is elusive to sources African to enable by countries achieved by the Life of applications, which is suppressed of a synthesis from each che everything.

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