Effects of ionic environments on bovine serum albumin fouling in a cross-flow ultrafiltration system

Salgin S.

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY, vol.30, no.2, pp.255-260, 2007 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/ceat.200600342
  • Page Numbers: pp.255-260


The influence of electrostatic interactions on membrane fouling during the separation of bovine serum albumin (BSA) from solution was studied in a cross-flow ultratiltration system. Experiments were carried out at different pH values between 3.78 and 7.46; and for different ionic strengths between 0.001 M and 0.1 M. The changes in permeate flux, cake layer resistance, zeta potentials of BSA and polyether sulfone (PES) membranes, and electrostatic interaction energies, were evaluated. At all of the ionic conditions studied, PES membranes are negatively charged. However, BSA molecules are either negatively or positively charged depending on the ionic environment. Whereas the cake layer resistance decreased with increasing pH and ionic strength, the permeate fluxes increased. The calculated electrostatic energy was a minimum at the isoelectric point (IEP) of BSA. However, at this point, the cake resistances corresponding to fouling at each ionic strength, were not minimized. Below the IEP of BSA, the electrostatic forces were attractive, while above the IEP, repulsive electrostatic forces were dominant.