Membrane water treatment is best for industry

Membranes are being used increasingly frequently during industrial processes for water treatment – such as for removing metal ions, creating a more suitable effluent, according to representatives from industry.

Speakers at the 2001 Membrane Technology Conference, which was sponsored by the American Water Works Association, outlined the many advantages of the technology, including the re-use of substances filtered out of wastewater.

“This is only touching the surface of the capabilities that might possibly ensure the future use of membrane technology,” said Linda Chaloux, an environmental research analyst with Frost & Sullivan. “The key equipment ingredient to date capable of meeting and exceeding the challenges associated with water recycling is membranes.”

Once used for small applications, and hardly intended for wastewater treatment or brackish waters, membrane systems have evolved, taking on increasingly difficult tasks, such as filtration of tertiary wastewater for water reuse applications.

The highlights of the conference included discussions on the advances in technology for online membrane integrity testing systems, low-pressure reverse osmosis membrane replacements, new developments in immersed membranes, actual pilot tests of various membrane brands to ascertain the most beneficial products existing on the market and clarifications of regulatory issues facing the membrane market.

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