Acetone-stable nanofiltration membranes in deacidifying vegetable oil

H.J. Zwijnenberg*, A.M. Krosse, K. Ebert, K.-V. Peinemann, F.P. Cuperus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


The separation of different vegetable oil/solvent mixtures with two types of nanofiltration membranes was studied. One type had a PEBAX [poly(amide-b-ether) copolymer] top layer, and the other had a cellulose-type top layer. These membranes were stable in acetone, ethanol, 2-propanol, and hexane, all important to the oleochemical industry. Permeabilities were highest for acetone, ±140 L/m2 · h · MPa, and lowest for hexane, which had negligible flux at 2 MPa. Permeabilities decreased with increasing triglyceride or free fatty acid (FFA) concentration. Rejection of triglycerides was constant over the concentration range tested, about 80-95% ± 5%, depending on the type of membrane used. These properties make membranes applicable for separating triglycerides from acetone by enhancing acetone recovery. Deacidification of triglycerides and FFA mixtures was possible (e.g., fatty acids were retained less than triglycerides). The permeate consisted almost entirely of fatty acids in acetone, and only small traces of triglycerides were found. This makes it feasible to selectively remove the fatty acids and reduce loss of triglycerides normally associated with deacidification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetone
  • Deacidification
  • Ethanol
  • Extraction
  • Fatty acid
  • Fractionation
  • Nanofiltration
  • Recovery
  • Solvent stability
  • Vegetable oil


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