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Membrane Separation for Protein Concentration

Technology Overview

Membrane technology has been widely utilized in the water industry while niche applications such as protein separations are relatively lesser known. For protein clarification and concentration processes, decanter centrifuges and hydro-cyclones are usually deployed but may not achieve the required separation quality. Membrane separation methods have proven to bring better separation quality given an edge to potential adopters. This technology relates to a hollow fiber MF and UF membrane developed by Suntar that can replace decanter centrifuge as a concentration method.

Suntar is seeking for co-development partners to explore membrane applications in protein clarification and concentration. Building on a strong foundation in membrane substantial know-how in membrane process separation industries, Suntar would like to partner with the alternative protein and food industry to test bed the hollow fiber membrane technology.

Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages

A decanter centrifuge or hydro-cyclone provides a certain degree of separation of the protein and water in the solution. Membrane separation works off a different separation technique and would provide a high separation quality compared to the commercially available technology that is being applied in the industry.

The hollow fiber membrane developed by Suntar has the following specifications:

  • Microfiltration (MF) & Ultrafiltration (UF) range
  • Lower operational pressure vs. conventional MF & UF
  • Up to 95% water removal for protein solution
  • Up to 90 % impurity removal
  • Highly concentrated final solution suitable for F&B
  • Adhere to sanitary standards

Potential Applications

  • Protein clarification and concentration
  • Removal of impurities (eg. Lipids from a mixture of protein and lipids)
  • High protein concentration to accommodate downstream extrusion process
  • Decolorization and color pigments removal in protein solution to attain market acceptance
  • Isolate cells from grown medium upon growth completion in the cell-based meat industry

Customer Benefit

  • Create high purity and more concentrated product that would open a new market area for the original product.
  • Pre-concentration to reduce load on evaporators (reduction on CAPEX and OPEX)
  • Lower operating pressure than hydro-cyclone & decanter
Contact Person

Kieren Oh


Singapore Membrane Consortium (SG MEM)

Technology Category

  • Environment, Clean Air/Water
  • Filter Membrane/Absorption Material
  • Foods Processes

Technology Readiness Level


protein separation, cell-based meat industry, Food and Beverages