Membrane clogging – solid accumulations on membrane surfaces – is a big challenge in MBR operations.
The consequences of clogging are reduced filtration throughput and frequent membrane cleanings. However, polymeric membranes are very sensitive. This means they have limitations for mechanical and chemical cleaning. The sludge can even lead to membrane damages, such as fiber breakages, or detachments.
Traces of oil in the water make it impossible to remove the accumulated sticky sludge from polymeric membranes. The result is a reduction in performance and a very short lifetime. In such MBR projects, ceramic flat sheet membranes are the only technology choice.
Image: Recent CERAFILTEC polymeric UF membrane replacement. 1 of 4 filtration trains, each with 1,980 m³/d.
CERAFILTEC supplied the module equipment, engineering design layout, process philosophy, and operating guideline – the complete technology package. Installation and commissioning are carried out by a local partner and systems integrator.
This project is one of many where ceramic flat sheet membranes successfully replace polymeric UF membranes – a growing trend capturing greater yields while resolving operational challenges.