Membrane Filtration Systems

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Membrane filtration is a technique for removing particles from liquid or gaseous mixtures. This method is used in a wide range of applications, including dairy processing and wastewater treatment. The semi-permeable membrane works as a barrier, preventing big particles from entering the permeate while allowing smaller molecules to pass through.

Molecules naturally move from high-concentration areas to low-concentration areas. Molecules can then flow from low-concentration to high-concentration areas by exerting external pressure. The permeate will travel across the membrane at a consistent rate due to the differential in stress on both sides of the membrane. This enables for increased overall yields in the end product of permeate or retentate.

Microfiltration, Ultrafiltration, Nanofiltration and Reverse Osmosis are the four basic methods of pressure-driven membrane filtration in order of decreasing pore size.

Microfiltration (MF)

The pore diameters of microfiltration membranes range from 0.1 to 10 micrometers. Large particles, colloids and microorganisms are typically removed from feed streams using these filters. This method is particularly common in the food and beverage industry for treating wastewater before it is discharged to a municipal sewer.

Ultrafiltration (UF)

Ultrafiltration is identical to microfiltration except that the pore diameters are smaller–ranging from 0.01 to 0.1 m. UF membranes are commonly employed in protein concentration and wastewater treatment and are utilized to reject viruses and polypeptides.

Nanofiltration (NF)

Nanofiltration membranes have a thin-film composite layer (1 m) on top of a porous layer (50 to 150 m) for tiny ion selectivity–comparable to reverse osmosis membranes. Multivalent salts and uncharged solutes are rejected by NF membranes; whereas, monovalent salts are allowed to flow through. They can also operate at lower pressures than reverse osmosis membranes, which makes them excellent for obtaining the best balance of flow and rejection.

Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Reverse osmosis membranes are even narrower than nanofiltration membranes, allowing water molecules to flow through in aqueous solutions but rejecting all monovalent ions. They’re also capable of removing viruses and germs from feed solutions. Seawater desalination and industrial water treatment are two common uses for reverse osmosis filtering. It’s worth noting that the total yield of RO and NF membranes is lower than that of MF and UF membranes since the operating pressure for RO and NF is substantially higher than that of MF and UF membranes.

Our Membrane Filtration Systems