Retention of Biopolymers by Ultrafiltration Membranes

Elizabeth Arkhangelsky, Inna Levitsky, Vitaly Gitis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Separation of biopolymers is one of increasingly important applications of ultrafiltration (UF) membranes. The efficiency of separation is often evaluated through pilot experiments and seldom predicted. Available predictions focus on correlations between UF pore width and biopolymer hydrodynamic diameter, while overlooking key operational parameters including transmembrane pressure (TMP). The role of TMP in the retention of biopolymers is revealed, i.e., magnification of TMP leads to decreased retention of the particulates. No full retention of the biopolymers without a rigid outer shell has been observed. Pressure-induced stretching of flexible biopolymers and expansion of membrane pores are the possible reasons of deteriorating selectivity. A division into flexible and rigid biopolymers provides a better prediction of membrane selectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2327-2334
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering and Technology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Biopolymer
  • Retention
  • Separation efficiency
  • Transmembrane pressure
  • Ultrafiltration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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