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Comparison of SCC and RO

A comparison of SCC technology and Reverse Osmosis for alcohol reduction of wine is shown below:

Reverse OsmosisSpinning Cone Column
Volume of wine to be processed10 - 20% of total wine volume (function of initial wine concentration, target wine concentration and alcohol removed in dealcoholisation step)10 - 20% of total wine volume
Stage at which wine may be treatedWine should be heat, cold and pectin stabilised and have been polish filtered to less than 50 NTUPossible to process wine with high level of suspended solids - clarity and stabilisation is not important
Alcohol removal techniqueSeparation based on Molecular WeightSeparation is based on relative volatility
Number of passesMultiple discrete alcohol removal passes if operated batchwise (usually operated continuously with long periods of recirculation)One pass for flavour stripping (flavour subsequently reincorporated) and one pass for dealcoholisation
Alcohol removal per passAlcohol content reduced by 0.7% to 1.5% abv per pass (ie. at least 8 discrete passes required to reduce alcohol from 15% to 3%)Alcohol content may be reduced from 15% to <1% abv in one pass
Residence timePossibly many hours10 - 20 seconds per pass
Time to process 10,000L (15% abv reduced to 3% abv)Function of size of membrane system 1.25 hours for Flavour Strip and 5 hours for Alcohol Strip (using model SCC 10,000)
Flavour considerationsNone - some flavour compounds readily pass through RO membranes.
Possible flavour adsorption (both volatile and non-volatile compounds) onto membrane material
Flavour strip to recover volatile compounds for subsequent reincorporation. Flavour stored as high strength ethanol stream (ie. very stable)
Strength of Alcohol removed<10% abv (must either be sent to drain or further processed to recover EtOH from water)>50% abv (ie. can be used immediately for brandy production, alco-pops etc.)
Hold up volumeHigh - dilution of product on startup and loss of product on shutdownLow
Water removedYes - large volume of water removed. Water loss must be made up (possibly through treatment of RO permeate to recover water)Negligble volume of water removed
Water consumption during processingHigh water usage if pervaporation used to treat RO permeate.
Treated water required
Negligible - seal water use only (recirculation of seal water possible).
No special requirements for type of water
Water and Chemical consumption during CIPVery high requirements of chemical to clean and recharge membranes.
Treated water required
Water used for initial rinse (before chemical CIP) and for final rinse (after chemical CIP). About 650 L of NaOH at 2% required for CIP
High cost consumablesYes - membrane cartridgesNone