The diluted ethanol solutions and fermentation broth (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) were separated by membrane distillation (MD). Hydrophobic macroporous (pore size 0.2 μm) capillary polypropylene membranes, Accurel PP V8/2 HF and Accurel PP S6/2, were used for these studies. The MD process can be successfully applied to remove the volatile components from the fermentation broth. Besides ethanol, propionic and acetic acids were moved from the broth to the distillate. Therefore, the course of the fermentation carried out in a membrane distillation bioreactor considerably accelerate its rate and increase the efficiency by a selective removal of fermentation products. It was found that the broth subjected to the separation did not affect the hydrophobic properties of the polypropylene membrane assembled in the MD modules.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.