Although protein fouling is a critical factor governing the performance of microfiltration systems, there have been relatively few studies comparing the fouling behavior of different proteins. Flux-decline data were obtained for the filtration of bovine serum albumin, lysozyme, pepsin, immunoglobulin G, and myoglobin through polycarbonate track-etch membranes. The data were analyzed using a recently developed model that accounts for simultaneous pore blockage and cake formation. The model was in very good agreement with the data for all five proteins, demonstrating the general applicability of this new theoretical framework. The initial fouling due to pore blockage is directly related to the concentration of protein aggregates in solution, which was measured independently by quasi-elastic light scattering. The results provide important insights into the mechanisms of protein fouling during microfiltration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology