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Effect Of Operating Conditions On Water Transport During The Concentration Of Sucrose Solutions By Osmotic Distillation

M. Courel, M. Dornier, Jean-Marie Herry, G. Rios, M. Reynes
Published 2000 · Chemistry

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Abstract A recent membrane technique, osmotic distillation (OD), is used to concentrate binary water–sucrose solutions at ambient temperature under atmospheric pressure. The principle is based on the extraction of water vapour from a dilute aqueous solution, which is put in contact with a hypertonic salt solution by means of a macroporous hydrophobic membrane. The concentration difference between both solutions translates into a transmembrane vapour pressure drop, that constitutes the driving force for mass transfer. An experimental device is designed at laboratory scale for this study, allowing achievement of vapour fluxes of 10 kg m−2 h−1 under standard conditions. The effect of various operating parameters on vapour flux is studied. The solute content results in the most influencing variable via water activity in brine and via viscosity in sugar solutions. The effect of concentration polarisation on the brine side is not negligible and would have to be taken into account for process optimisation. This phenomenon could not be quantified on the sugar solution side due to pressure drop limits of the pilot rig. Eventually, the vapour flux can be significantly increased by adding a temperature difference to the transmembrane concentration difference, when pure water is evaporated.
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