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Membrane Filtration: Benefits and Modern Innovations

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Membrane Filtration: Benefits and Modern Innovations

The research and development of membrane filtration technology consume a significant portion of the available resources. It is yet to determine how closely the research aims coincide with the industry’s requirements. Dr. Sepideh Jankhah, P.Eng., investigates past, present, and future research and development in this field.

Since 2001, a significant portion of the available resources has been put into membrane filter technology’s research and development (R&D) annually. This article covers the history and development of membrane filtration technology applications and current research and development trends based on peer-reviewed material. It is interesting to note that the demands of research and industry are converging at a comparable speed, even though the party in the lead changes depending on the field of application.

The History of Membrane Filtration

Several industries widely use membrane filtration. Mainly those dealing with water and wastewater treatment, food and beverages, and pharmaceutical medical applications. The term “osmosis” was first used to describe the process of water passing through a diaphragm and dates back to the early 1700s. Since then, the history of membrane separation has come a long way.

Membrane Filter

Since beginning with osmosis and progressing via electrodialysis, gas filtration, and membrane distillation, filtration technology has contributed to developing and enhancing many industrial products, processes, and applications. For example, it is routine practice to concentrate fruit juices using membrane filtration, remove pollutants from water and wastewater, and harvest cells to synthesize antibiotics using membrane filtration.

In comparison to more traditional methods of separation, the MCE membrane filter offers several significant benefits. For example, enhancing product quality, improving separation capacity, reducing the risk factor and footprint along with decreased Chemical consumption.

Major Membrane Applications

Water and wastewater treatment accounts for more than fifty percent of all industrial membrane use, followed by processing food and beverages (twenty-one percent) and pharmaceutical and medical applications (nine percent). The pharmaceutical industry and medical applications may have the highest growth rates during the next five years. This pattern may push forward by rising purity requirements and an increase in the number of medicinal uses for this technology. In addition, the processing of food and beverages and water treatment (including desalination) may see consistent expansion.

The use of these technologies has primarily centered on creating new membrane goods or processes. Also, for improving already existing membrane products and processes in terms of their overall performance and related operational and capital costs. There are some developments in the works for the manufacturing sector. Most of them are still in the early phases of development and need extra investigation. Before they can become dominant in the market.

Membrane Classifications

Microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and reverse/forward osmosis are the four categories of membranes. The pore size distribution of MF membranes is the greatest (on a scale of microns). Followed by UF membranes in the submicron range, down to the theoretical 0.001-micron pore size of NF membranes.

We can explain this disparity might through the significant research conducted in academic settings on low-energy RO and membrane surface modification. The rising need for desalination, water reuse, and the removal of new pollutants. The production of high-purity output streams is a factor that contributes to the pressing need for further research.

Final Words

The most advanced technology in the filtration sector is microfiltration (MF) and ultrafiltration (UF). Their costs are much lower than other membrane types. Filtering methods or as a pre-treatment step for membranes are often used in various settings.

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