Plenary lecture Mariël ELSHOF

Membrane based strategies for water footprint reduction in the food & beverage industry

Climate change and population growth have stressed our valuable water resources.1  And as different industries aim to use water in the most efficient way and lower their water footprint as much as possible, increased attention is given to the recovery and reuse of both water and materials, in which membrane technology plays a vital role.

NX Filtration is a supplier of hollow fiber nanofiltration membranes specifically designed to enable more sustainable processes. The membranes offer advantages such as a low fouling potential, simple one-step process with low energy use and avoiding the use of chemicals in pre-treatment steps. The dense hollow fibers have a selective layer, based on polyelectrolyte multilayers, that allow for the selective removal of certain chemicals from water, offering a good solution for water and resource recovery.

In the overview, we show how novel membrane technologies result in sustainable processes, with a specific focus on water footprint reduction in the Food & Beverage (F&B) industry. The F&B industry is the third largest industrial user of water and almost two-thirds of all freshwater that is being taken is used for food production.2 We identify several application areas that are interesting for use with direct nanofiltration (dNF) membranes in order to lower the water footprint. We show how the dNF membranes can be used for CIP recovery, sugar recovery, stormwater & rainwater reuse etc. In addition, remaining challenges are also discussed.

Disclaimer: This work was funded by PepsiCo, Inc., the views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of PepsiCo, Inc.

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