Membrane Filtration Technology

Microfiltration, Ultrafiltration, Nanofiltration, Reverse Osmosis

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Crossflow Membrane Filtration Technology

A physical separation process

Crossflow membranes are designed to work reliably and effectively on a given feed material against pre-determined, temperature, pressure, and velocity settings for the liquid being processed. The type of membranes selected determine what, can, and can’t, be separated from a feed stream.

Separation occurs when the pore size, or molecular weight of the membrane, allows a particle or molecule in the feed stream to pass through, whilst holding anything larger back. At this point the feed stream is effectively split into two streams “Concentrate” and “Permeate”. This typically takes place in a closed loop process which gradually concentrates up the larger elements, and allows the smaller elements and water to pass through.  The concentration process is repeated until it reaches the desired target, or to a point where the maximum effective concentration ratio has been achieved.

Crossflow separation operates at the touch of a switch and relies entirely on pressure to physically separate the feed stream, in this sense it is a strong contender for alleviating concerns around traditional chemical separation processes by avoiding costly and environmentally unfriendly chemicals.  In many cases it provides an ideal alternative to biological treatment processes with their associated sensitivity and instability issues.

There is a membrane application in almost every industry

To investigate the suitability of membrane separation for a specific process Axium’s filtration engineers routinely conduct research using our dedicated pilot equipment, either on-site, or at Axium’s dedicated test facility.

Investigative pilot trials can be conducted on a huge range of liquid separation applications from, pharmaceutical products to beverages, and the separation of contaminants from waste water. Typical commercial applications include, dairy fractionation, cell recovery, clarification, extract filtration, protein separation,  dilute sugar stream concentration, dye stuff desalting and concentration, waste water minimisation, and clean water recovery, to name but a few.

Membrane Technology can, improve process performance, reduce waste and recover water. It offers the potential to create new opportunities from separated By-products with creative use of microfiltration, ultrafiltration, and reverse osmosis technology.

There are 4 stages of membrane filtration

Depending upon the “molecular weight cut off” (MWCO) of the membrane, it is possible to isolate a wide range of individual components in a feed stream, including suspended solids, fibres, particles, protein, bacteria, virus, colour, dissolved salts and metal ions. Controlled separation takes place when pressure and velocity are applied to a liquid flowing across the membrane surface. This technique produces a consistent, stable output which is ideal for quality sensitive and water recycling applications.  The physical simplicity of the process offers considerable environmental and operational advantages.

TECHNOLOGY

TYPICAL OPERATING PRESSURETYPICAL MEMBRANE PORE SIZETYPICAL SEPARATION
Microfiltration0.5 - 60.1µm up to 1.0µmProteins, fats, suspended particles
Ultrafiltration1 - 10 0.001µm up to 0.1µmSugars, proteins, macromolecules, most dyes
Nanofiltration7 - 400.001µm up to 0.01µmDivalent salts, dissociated acids, sugars, colour molecules
Reverse Osmosis20 - 680.0001µm Monovalent salts, organics, undissociated acids

Benefits of using membrane technology include:

  • Separation without chemicals
  • Selective cut off
  • Small footprint
  • Wide range of applications
  • Simple on-off performance, no reliance on biological activity
CASE STUDIES
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ITCS ManagerMembrane Filtration Technology