Diffusive and convective protein transport through asymmetric membranes

W. Senyo Opong, Andrew L. Zydney

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242 Scopus citations


Experimental data are obtained for bovine serum albumin transport through asymmetric polyethersulfone ultrafiltration membranes of differing molecular weight cutoff in a stirred ultrafiltration device. The actual membrane sieving coefficient is determined from filtrate concentration measurements using a stagnant film model to account for bulk mass transport effects. These sieving coefficients are then used to evaluate the relative contributions of diffusive and convective transport to the overall protein flux. The results are in good agreement with available hydrodynamic models for the hindrance factors for convective and diffusive transport of spherical solutes through well‐defined pores, with the effective solute to pore size ratio evaluated from a partitioning model that explicitly accounts for the ellipsoidal shape of the protein and the membrane pore size distribution. The implications of these results to the analysis of experimental data for membrane sieving and to the design of effective protein fractionation devices are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1497-1510
Number of pages14
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering


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