Figure 3. Typical flow diagram of a membrane process.

separation are the shape of the molecule; the presence of other solutes of similar size; operating parameters such as pressure, cross-flow rate, and temperature, and the microenvironment (1).

There are six different basic designs of membrane modules: tubular (with channel diameters >3 mm), hollow fiber or capillaries (self-supporting tubes, usually <2 mm i.d.), plates, spiral-wound, pleated sheets, and moving modules (1). The selection of a particular design depends on (1) the physical properties of the feed stream and retentate, especially viscosity and osmotic pressure; (2) particle size of suspended matter in the feed; (3) fouling potential of the feed stream, and (4) sanitary design, cleanability, and sterilizability.

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