Conference Dates

September 17-21, 2017


Membranes are applied in biotechnological operations for sterile filtration, cell retention during continuous oper-ation, and cell separation as the first step after fermentation. Membranes are also in use in various steps during purification and isolation of certain target components. In all applications the retained substances, mainly bio-genic material such as cells, protein or polysaccharides, form a deposited layer at the membrane surface. This layer acts as an often dominating secondary membrane, which affects the permeability of the whole system more than the membrane as such. Thus, predictability, efficiency and consistency of all affected processing steps are impaired, which might create issues especially in GMP processes. Therefore, a deeper understanding and a better control of deposit formation would be beneficial for biotechnological operations in general and membrane filtrations in continuous processes in particular. This presentation reports on recent work on a better understanding of deposit formation on membrane surfaces. It was the aim to intensify processes by minimizing the effect of deposit formation and, in turn, increasing flux and permeation of target substances. Success factor in all related projects was a better control of deposit for-mation on membrane surfaces, which in particular was enabled by assessing deposit formation along the mem-brane flow path using special membrane module constructions. These modules allow for the measurement of flux, solutes permeation, structure and amount of deposited material as a function of position in an industrially sized membrane system. Ceramic and polymeric membrane materials as well as tubular and spiralwound mod-ule (SWM) configurations are compared.

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