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Abstract

In this study, the process of membrane cleaning by supercritical fluid extraction was investigated. Polypropylene microfiltration membranes, contaminated with oils, were treated in a batch process with a supercritical fluid (SCF). As extractant, pure supercritical carbon dioxide or supercritical carbon dioxide with admixtures of methanol, ethanol and isopropanol were used. Single-stage and multi-stage extraction was carried out and process efficiency was determined. The obtained results showed that addition of organic solvents significantly enhances the cleaning performance, which increases with increase of organic solvent concentration and decreases with increasing temperature. All three solvents showed a comparable effect of efficiency enhancement. The results confirmed that supercritical fluid extraction can be applied for polypropylene membrane cleaning.
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