Senior Chemist, Ecolab
A Wisconsin native, growing up surrounded by dairy farms and processing plants, without even realizing that is where my career would lead me back to. I am a Senior Chemist at Ecolab working in our Food & Beverage division in product development, with a specific focus on the dairy industry. I spend most of my time developing solutions for customers in the dairy industry, and have spent a majority of my time with specific focus on developing chemistries and programs to assist in membrane processing.
Membrane CIP (Clean-In-Place) often involves multiple wash steps, which utilize several cleaning chemistries due to the complex nature of the soils left on the membrane surfaces, as well as limitations such as temperature, pH, and total hydraulic volume of the cleaning solution. Due to these reasons, it is critical to employ chemistries which are specifically designed for membrane applications, while also maintaining the integrity of the membrane surface. In combination with the myriad of limitations and challenges, the chemistries used must comply with different regulatory agencies and more stringent industry specifications to ensure the end user, and environment are kept in consideration. Many in the food and beverage industry have been attempting to move away from NPE-based surfactants for several years due to impending regulations, customer demands, and the globalization of the dairy and protein powder industries. This discussion will comprise of a review of the chemistry, concerns, and regulations of NPEs, and provide data and examples of Ecolab’s most recent Ultrasil, NPE-free surfactant additive. The presentation will also give a glimpse into the arduous development process in combination with field case studies.