Kang Hu
Senior Scientist
GE Water & Process Technologies

Kang Hu has more than 20 years of experience in membrane filtration technology, including new membrane development research and commercial membrane industrial applications. He holds a PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada, with a focus on membrane separation. Before that, he worked in China for 8 years on water treatment using various membrane technologies. In the past 9 years, he has worked for KraftFoods (Glenview) and Land O’Lakes (Arden Hills) on ingredient separation/concentration by membrane processes. He recently joined GE Water and Filtration where he continues to apply his expertise in filtration process commercialization. He is the editor for IFT Press series “Membrane Processing for Dairy Ingredient Separation”.

Membrane Concentration and Frequently Asked Questions in Plant and Pilot Plant

When conducting ingredient concentration, conventional thermal processes, such as evaporation, may have a severe impact on functional and nutritional properties of the final products due to the heat-treatment. Membrane process, which is a non-thermal process and mainly uses pressure as driving force, has been extensively investigated as an alternative process for ingredient concentration. Comparing to evaporation, membrane concentration has advantages including less energy consumption and convenience for scaling up. However, there is a limitation for the maximum concentration once the osmotic pressure of the concentrate is close to the operation pressure. In this case, some membrane processes have been developed for further concentration using advanced technologies.

This presentation illustrates several conventional membrane concentration processes, UF, NF and RO, and also introduces two other advanced membrane processes, Pervaporation and Forward Osmosis. At the end of the presentation, some frequently asked questions in plant and pilot plant, such as “What is the difference between Membrane pore size vs. MWCO”, are interpreted based on fundamental knowledge of membrane.