In many types of processes, and particularly in the production of beverages that are designed to be stored for long periods of time after production and bottling or canning, deaeration is an important step. Deaeration, as the name implies, is literally removing the air, and specifically the oxygen molecules, from the liquid. Without oxygen, carbonation can be retained, and the beverage can be kept considerably longer without any change in flavor.
There are several different ways for small to large production facilities to complete the deaeration process. One of the most effective options is membrane deaeration, which offers a very high rate of oxygen removal at a rapid pace.
Different manufacturers offer a slightly different design in membrane deaeration equipment. In general, a large surface with gas permeable membranes is used to transfer the oxygen from the liquid to the air on the outside of the membrane.
The key is to have the liquid and the membrane in maximum contact. The difference in the pressure of the oxygen molecule and the scrubbing gas creates a force that pulls the molecules through the membrane. The strip or scrubbing gas, which is typically carbon dioxide, allows for maximum efficiency.
At the same time, these systems are economical to operate and do not require the same types of pump and spray systems as found in spray deaerators, and the membrane deaeration systems are also much smaller, which saves much-needed processing space.
Considerations in Selecting Systems
When considering the membrane types of deaeration systems, take a close look at the amount of energy and water needed to operate the system, as well as the removal rate of oxygen. These factors have an impact on the long-term operation of the equipment that needs to be considered in relation to the initial cost.
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