Maple Syrup Concentration

Synder NFX Nanofiltration Membrane 
Background 
In the production of maple syrup, maple sap is concentrated from roughly 2% sugar to 66%+ sugar. This concentration is achieved primarily by evaporation, which is a very costly and energy intensive process.  If the sap can be processed and concentrated with membrane technology to reduce the evaporation required to achieve a 66%+ sugar concentration, a significant cost savings could be seen by maple syrup producers.  Synder’s NFX Nanofiltration membrane was tested against the leading competitor’s NF membrane to gauge performance in concentrating the sap from 2-8% sugar.   

 

Feed Solution, Membrane, and Operating Conditions 
(Table 1)

Feed Solution   
Material  Diluted Maple Syrup (2% Sugar Concentration)
Synder Membrane    
Element    NFX-Spiral Element
Membrane  Polyamide-TFC 
Competitor’s Membrane   
Element  NF-Spiral Element
Membrane  Polyamide-TFC
NF Standard Operating Parameters  
Pressure (PSI)  110
Temperature (C)  20-25

Results 
Both NF membranes required approx. 1 hour to achieve an 8% sugar concentration. Given the linear correlation between TOC and total brix, TOC and conductivity measurements were used to evaluate the salt rejection and sugar retention of the membranes. 

Conclusion
Synder’s NFX membrane displayed similar performance to the leading competitor and proved effective in concentrating maple syrup from 2% to 8%. The two membranes showed similar permeate flux while the sugar concentration in the NFX permeate was below 0.1 brix over the entire concentration process.  This study suggests that Synder’s NFX membrane offers very competitive performance for the concentration of maple sap and could lead to significant cost reductions in the production of maple syrup.