Two loose nanofiltration membranes (NF-CA-50 and NF-TFC-50) and one dense ultrafiltration membrane (UF-CA-1) were used to fractionate commercial oligosaccharide mixtures by applying diafiltration in a ‘dead-end’ filtration cell at 40 bar constant pressure with a maximum volume concentration ratio (VCR) of 6 at each fractionation. The rejections of a monosaccharide (glucose) and a disaccharide (lactose) were determined for each membrane; the results indicated that fractionation between these two sugars was possible using the two nanofiltration membranes. During the nanofiltration purification of a commercial oligosaccharide mixture, yields of 19% (w/w) for monosaccharides and 88% (w/w) for di- and oligosaccharides were obtained with the NF-TFC-50 membrane after four filtration steps, indicating that removal of the monosaccharides is possible with only minor losses of the oligosaccharide content of the mixture. The ultrafiltration membrane, at the same time, gave purification levels similar to the NF-TFC-50 membrane with fewer diafiltration steps but with higher losses of di- and oligosaccharides (12% (w/w) for monosaccharides and 53% (w/w) for di- and oligosaccharides on the third run).
© 2003 Society of Chemical Industry