Munir Cheryan
Founder & President
Membrane Consultants LLC

Dr. Munir Cheryan is Founder and President of Membrane Consultants LLC ( which provides consulting services in food processing, bioprocessing (fermentation, downstream processing) and bioseparations, particularly membrane technology and its application in the food, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and biobased industries. His experience covers several industries, among them dairy, soybean processing, vegetable oils, nutraceuticals, beverages, corn processing (wet-milling and dry-grind), protein extraction and purification (e.g., alfalfa, corn, dry beans, milk, soybeans, sunflower, tobacco, whey), biochemicals (acetic, citric and lactic acids, butylene glycol), sugars and sweeteners, and biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel).

He has a B.Tech. (Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur) and M.S. (U.Wisconsin-Madison) in chemical engineering, and Ph.D. in food science (U.Wisconsin-Madison). He was on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Departments of Food Science & Human Nutrition and Agricultural & Biological Engineering (1976-2006) and is currently Professor Emeritus (

He has been a consultant to and/or served on technical advisory and/or management boards of over 55 companies, from start-ups to multinationals, as well as government organizations and the UNDP-FAO. He has founded three companies since 2001 primarily to commercialize new technologies and his intellectual property, which include 16 US and Canadian patents, as well as over two dozen IP disclosures to clients and employers. He is the author of the best-selling Ultrafiltration Handbook and Ultrafiltration and Microfiltration Handbook. He has published over 200 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and chapters in books, given over 150 presentations in 25 countries and conducted several short courses around the world.

Dr. Cheryan has received numerous awards and honors and has been on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. He is one of the founders of the North American Membrane Society.


Fundamentals of Membrane Technology

Membranes are most successfully implemented when several factors that affect flux and rejection have been considered through all stages of process development: membrane chemistry (the materials of construction from the contact surface to the underlying support) , membrane properties (pore size distribution, the mechanism of solvent and solute transport through the membrane), process engineering parameters (pressure, temperature, solids concentration and cross-flow velocity), equipment (tubular, hollow fiber, plate, spiral….the good, the bad and the ugly), fouling and cleaning, and process design (configuration of membrane modules, diafiltration mode, number and arrangement of stages). Obtaining reliable experimental data to design the membrane plant could be challenging if trials are conducted with dead-end bench-top cells processing less than a liter of feed or even with pilot plants using commercial-size membrane modules with hundreds of gallons.