Membrane filtration is a pressure-driven technology to remove unwanted particles and contaminants from liquids and gases to deliver cleaner water and improved air quality.

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Sic Cross Section Membrane Layer Liqtech Ceramics

What is membrane filtration?

Membrane filtration (MF) is a pressure-driven filtration process that can remove unwanted particles and contaminants from liquids and gases. The technology is used in many industrial large-scale applications as it enables industries to cost-effectively run cleaner and compliant operations free of harmful particles and contaminants.

Simply put, membrane filtration methods employ a membrane for the filtration process. A membrane is a thin layer of a semi-permeable material, which provides a physical barrier to separate molecules and particles of various sizes and characteristics. Even the smallest elements, such as bacteria and viruses, can be rejected by membranes. A membrane can be made of several organic and inorganic materials and constructed in various module designs.

This enables different types of liquids and gases to be filtered. Membrane filtration is a pressure-driven technology. No chemicals are added to treat the water and gases. Chemicals are only needed for membrane cleaning to maintain superior hygiene. Thus, it is a clean technology, securing a greener future.

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Membrane Filtration Process

How do membrane filtration methods work?

Membrane filtration is a simple technique to boost the quality of various types of liquids and gases.

Basically explained, a feed stream is passed through a membrane. A feed pump applies pressure, and this will separate the feed stream into two streams: the permeate and the retentate. The permeate consists of filtered liquid or gas, which can pass through the semi-permeable membrane surface. The retentate consists of rejected particles, which are held back by the membrane surface.

It is the membrane pore size structure that defines the size of the particles that are retained. Membranes can be made with various pore sizes. The smaller the pore size, the smaller particles can be retained. This enables filtration processes of different types of liquids and gases. A membrane’s pore size is measured in microns. One micron is equal to one-millionth of a meter. This extremely fine measurement is crucial for pore size structures to establish what kinds of particles a membrane can reject. While a human hair is approximately 50 microns, bacteria can be as small as 1-10 microns. Thus, micron rating is essential to define what kinds of particles a filter can retain. This also determines which filtration applications and industries a membrane is useful for.

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Ultrafiltration Membrane

What can membrane filtration be used for?

Membrane filtration methods are the lever to greener industries. Today, many sectors pollute by emitting toxic gases or generate large streams of wastewater. Membrane filtration can reduce gaseous pollution and filter wastewater, enabling water reclamation and reuse for other industrial processes, maintenance, or irrigation.

Various industries use membrane filtration methods. Membrane filter techniques are essential in large-scale industrial applications to treat liquids and gases.

Within water treatment, water filter membranes are the critical technology behind many water treatment systems. Water filter membranes can be used to treat drinking water and pool and spa environments to control and prevent diseases by removing bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. It can also be used within the food and beverage industry to purify and concentrate liquids. Still, membrane filtration is also employed within arduous industries with aggressive fluids, such as oil and gas, power plants, marine, and heavy metal removal to remove polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), particulate matter (PM), pathogens, and heavy metals from wastewater. Membranes can comply with even the strictest wastewater discharge limits.

Within gas treatment, membrane filtration is the lever to various types of emission technologies. It can be used for diesel particulate filters (DPF) and autocatalysts, ideal for vehicles that produce high soot loads such as garbage trucks, port vehicles, diesel pick-up trucks, intra-city vehicles, and off-road vehicles.

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Advantages of membrane filtration

The advantages of membrane filtration are numerous. Membrane filter techniques are not just good for the environment. They are simply good business.

Membrane filtration provides reliability, consistent filtration results, and constant compliance. With more and more environmental regulations on wastewater treatment and emissions reduction set by various national and international regulatory institutions to seek a greener future, reliable and consistent filtration solutions are imperative to obtain constant compliance. Compliance is essential to avoid operational downtime and heavy fines affecting your OPEX.

Moreover, membrane filtration reduces energy consumption compared to other filtration technologies, making it a cost-effective solution. Add to that, once you treat your wastewater, you can optimize your water management and take an active role in protecting scarce water resources. Industrial wastewater can be reused for other industrial processes, maintenance, or sold for irrigation. This ensures reduced OPEX.

But there are many more advantages of membrane filtration. At LiqTech, we have more than 20 years of experience developing, producing, and marketing proprietary ceramic membranes for various large-scale industrial applications. Our ceramic membranes are made of silicon carbide, the second hardest material globally, solely beaten by diamonds. This extremely hard material delivers some unique properties, ensuring exceptional results.

Our ceramic membranes are ideal for aggressive fluids.

  • pH 0 to 14
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Temperature: up to 800 ˚C
  • Robustness
  • Low maintenance
  • Long-term performance
  • Unmatched performance
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The filtration techniques

Within water treatment, there are four membrane techniques. There are separated into:

It is the membrane selectivity that separates the techniques. While microfiltration rejects suspended solids, reverse osmosis rejects dissolved solids.

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