It’s widely believed that membrane replacement represents the second largest contribution to the operating cost of an MBR or UF/MF filtration plant after energy demand. In reality, it’s probably the third largest in most cases, but there is little doubt, though, that membrane life is of keen interest to membrane technology practitioners
The MBR Blog
With membrane science, you have both physicists and chemists: the physics covering the likes of film theory, hydraulic resistance and molecular dynamics, and the chemistry for chemical/biochemical stoichiometry, organic polymer synthesis and Gibbs–Donnan equilibria. Oh yes, membrane science is pretty hard core.
Wastewater treatment offers a few elegant examples of the useful combination of two unit processes. This includes the MLE (Modified Ludzak Ettinger) process for nutrient removal, as well as combined screening and degritting for protecting downstream processes from rags and abrasive particles. But it also appears that this extends to reducing energy consumption using the new-ish technology of forward osmosis - heralded as the future of desalination.
Stephen Katz et al.'s recent article 'The disinfection capability of MBRs: credit where credit’s due' raises a few rather intriguing questions concerning the measurement of the disinfection capability of an MBR and, for that matter, any other water and wastewater treatment technology.
Reclamation of water for non-potable use (and, in some parts of the world, potable water supply) is very well established. This is one of the key applications of MBRs, often upstream of UV irradiation, activated carbon adsorption and/or reverse osmosis.