A direct process for the recovery of the alkaloid lupanine from the debittering wastewaters of Lupinus albus L. was studied. The wastewaters were 10-fold concentrated by a membrane process, osmotic evaporation, using a calcium chloride solution as the osmotic agent. The concentrated effluent was treated in a basic solid medium and extracted with ethyl ether by a direct process. The lupanine present in rich fraction was recovered in a proportion of 18.5%. The lupanine recovered from the L. albus L wastewaters is presented almost as a racemic mixture. The significant amount of wastewaters produced in a debittering operation, together with the available salt solution used in the industrial process, would justify the recovery of the lupanine content by this membrane process. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.