Reverse Osmosis (RO) membrane process has been commonly used for clarification and concentration of apple juice processes, due to significant advance in membrane technology, requirements for low energy and cost, and effective retention of aroma components. In this paper, a multi-stage RO industrial full-scale plant based on the MSCB 2521 RE99 spiral-wound membrane module has been used to simulate the process of concentrating apple juice and to identify an optimal multi-stage RO process for a specified apple juice product of high concentration measured in Brix. The optimisation problem is formulated as a Nonlinear Programming (NLP) problem with five different RO superstructures to maximise the apple juice concentration as well as the operating parameters such as feed pressure, flow rate and temperature are optimised. A simple lumped parameter model based on the solution-diffusion model and the contribution of all sugar species (sucrose, glucose, malic acid, fructose and sorbitol) to the osmotic pressure is assumed to represent the process. The study revealed that the multi-stage series RO process can optimise the product concentration of apple juice better than other configurations. It has been concluded that the series configuration of twelve elements of 1.03 m2 area improves the product apple juice concentration by about 142% compared to one element. Furthermore, the feed pressure and flow rate were found to have a significant impact on the concentration of the apple juice.
Journal of Food Engineering – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 2017
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