Ultrasonically-Assisted Ultrafiltration

  • Ultrafiltration (UF) is frequently used in the dairy industry for the concentration of whey.
  • Ultrasonically-assisted ultrafiltration processes enhance the efficiency of whey separation processes during ultrafiltration of whey solutions.
  • Hielscher Ultrasonics offers various options to integrate high power ultrasonics into ultrafiltration systems.

Ultrasonic Membrane Filtration

Hielscher Ultrasonics is your leading expert for ultrasonic processes!When powerful ultrasonics are applied to liquids and slurries, cavitation, bubble collapse and micro-jets are generated. Hielscher Ultrasonics uses these intense ultrasonic forces to modify fluid dynamics, flow rates and the passage through membranes. The ultrasonically assisted filtration of particles from liquids comes with various benefits: The flow rate through a filter membrane can be increased significantly if power ultrasonics is applied in the vicinity of the filter. Thereby, filtration becomes substantially more efficient. Benefits are higher throughput, a consistent product quality and an extended membrane life since ultrasonics removes fouling and clogging.

Ultrasonic Effects

Ultrasonic viscosity reduction results in significantly higher flow rates. Additional benefits are:

  • increases output by 10% or more
  • reduction of overall fixed and variable cost
  • reduced filling losses and waste treatment costs
  • reduced chilling requirements
  • low investment and increased profits
  • payback in less than one year

Ultrasonic Equipment

Hielscher Ultrasonics has profound knowledge of configuring and installing the suitable ultrasonic system to optimize efficiency and output of your spray-dryer. According to the production line, Hielscher offers various options to apply high power ultrasonics for the viscosity reduction of protein solutions. All of our industrial ultrasonic systems are built for heavy-duty applications under demanding conditions and can run 24/7. Due to their small footprint, they can be easily retro-fitted into existing production lines. Low maintenance and user-friendly operation are further benefits.
Contact us today to get more information about how sonication improves your ultrafiltration process!

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Ultrasonic shear forces can be applied to reduce viscosity.

Ultrasonic reactor

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Ultrasonic viscosity reduction

UIP2000hdT for ultrafiltration


  • D. Liu, E. Vorobiev, R. Savoire, J.-L. Lanoisellé (2013): Comparative study of ultrasound-assisted and conventional stirred dead-end microfiltration of grape pomace extracts. Ultrason. Sonochem. 20, 2013. 708–714.

About Filtration Processes

Sonication can be applied to microfiltration, ultrafiltration and nanofiltration systems. Ultrasonically assisted membrane filtration is successfully applied for ultrafiltration and nanofiltration in the chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing as well as for food and beverage processing. The filtration of milk and milk proteins is one of the most important ultrasound filtration applications.

Ultrafiltration (UF)

Ultrafiltration is a membrane filtration process, where the milk passes through a thin, porous membrane to separate the components of milk according to their size. For ultrafiltration, medium pressure is applied. Ultrafiltration allows the smaller lactose, water, mineral, and vitamin molecules to pass through the membrane, while the larger protein and fat molecule are retained and concentrated. The removal of water and lactose reduces the volume of milk, and thereby lowers its transportation and storage costs. Ultrafiltration makes cheese manufacturing more efficient. In the dairy industry, ultrafiltration is used for the production of whey protein concentrate (WPC), milk protein concentrate (MPC), for the protein standardisation of cheese milk, for decalcification of permeates as well as lactose reduction of milk.

Nanofiltration (NF)

Nanofiltration is membrane filtration process where the liquid passes the membrane under medium to high pressure. Nanofiltration membranes have pore sizes from 1-10 nanometers, smaller than that used in microfiltration and ultrafiltration. In the dairy industry, nanofiltration is mainly used for the (partial) demineralisation of whey, lactose removal to produce lactose-free milk or to reduce the volume of whey.

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