Many food industry intermediates or by-products are slurries (solutions comprised of small suspended particles). These often result from actions like the processing of fruits, vegetables and dairy products. In many cases, it is necessary to reduce the salt concentration of these slurries to produce useful or more valuable products.
Traditional crossflow membrane systems, such as reverse osmosis or nanofiltration, are unable to separate salts from suspended solids. Traditional chemical ion exchange systems will plug when exposed to slurries. As a result, the food processing industry employs a very inefficient process called diafiltration to reduce salt concentrations in slurries.
In diafiltration, a membrane, such as a nanofiltration membrane, separates water from the salt-slurry mixture. In the absence of pressure, salt slowly diffuses across the membrane to reach equilibrium (equal salt concentrations on both sides of the membrane), thereby reducing the salt concentration of the salt-slurry. If this process is repeated 5 or more times, each time waiting for salt to diffuse across the membrane, 90% or more of the salt can be removed. This is a very slow process which consumes large amounts of water.
Advantages of a LINX Water Filtration System
LINX water filtration systems absorb the salt from the feed solution which flows parallel to the LINX membrane surface. LINX cartridges are fabricated by winding our patented textured membrane on itself – without spacer – so that viscous mixtures such as slurries flow through the cartridge at low pressures and without plugging the system. The result is that >90% of the salt in a salt-slurry solution passing through a LINX system is removed in one pass, in a matter of minutes. A further important benefit is the LINX water system’s inherent disinfection of solutions passing through and the LINX equipment itself. The food industry pays meticulous attention to equipment cleanliness and safety.