Membrane technology has an important function in the industrial sector and has even been used over for decades. And looking at the current shortage of water around the globe, it has become sort of mandatory to implement a membrane filtration system in an industrial plant. The percentage of fresh water on our planet has started to dwindle at a very rapid pace. This has called for a high time where it has become very critical to saving water especially in the sectors or industries which uses water in huge capacities. The main goal for doing so is to reuse the water after using it once for different industrial processes and purifying it through different membrane filtration systems to make it ultrapure. The key benefit of membrane technology is that it does not make use of any toxic chemicals, making it environment-friendly as well as a technology that makes less use of energy.
So, what really is ultrapure water? Well, ultrapure water can be defined as the water obtained after the removal of unwanted materials and water having a resistivity of more than 18.2 M ?-cm. The level of ultra-purity can be obtained by using different membrane technologies including reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, microfiltration, nanofiltration, pre-filtration, etc. Micro and Ultrafiltration can be used when large sized particles have to be removed from the feed water whereas nanofiltration and reverse osmosis can be used for removing salts from any kind of feed water. Also, these pairs of the process also differ in the water pressure that is passed through them and for nanofiltration and reverse osmosis the pressure is much higher than its counterparts, however, the productivity is much lower. Moreover, there are two factors that classify the membrane filtration process – productivity and selectivity.
When it comes to the benefits of the membrane technology or say the membrane filtration processes when compared to other technologies or filtration process out there then:
Membrane filtration can be performed under low-temperature conditions and hence are widely used by food and pharmaceutical industries. Membrane technology has low energy cost as most of the energy required is that of pumping feed water through the membrane systems. There are many filtration techniques that has a phase of evaporation which in actual consumes much more energy when compared to membrane filtration processes. In addition, you can even combine different membrane processes to achieve desired results (level of water quality). Well, the type of membrane system to be used depends on a number of aspects including operation costs, eco-friendliness, output, cleaning and maintenance costs.
Given that you choose to invest in membrane technology for your industry plant, remember that fouling is something that is bound to happen. Even if you have pre-treated your feed water still membrane fouling and scaling is inevitable. The level of fouling really depends on the quality of the feed water and hence, here you have to pay special attention to the cleaning and maintenance aspect of your membrane elements as well as membrane filtration system.
Hence, all in all, membrane technology can be considered as the best available option for obtaining ultrapure water by treating wastewater.
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