Developing Tools for Assessment of Low-Pressure Membrane PerformanceLiu, Charles; Caothien, Scott; Wachinski, Anthony Edition: Vol. - No.
American Water Works Association / 01-Nov-2009 / 13 pages

As the market for low-pressure membranes expands, there is an increasing need for developing toolsfor assessing the performance of membranes. Several bench-test based tools for assessingmembrane performance are discussed. Membrane Performance Index (MPI), a simple bench-test,can be used to evaluate the removal efficiency for targeted contaminants (e.g., TOC) and foulingpotential of particular water source, or to assess the effectiveness of pretreatment options.Conceptually, MPI represents the condition where the rate of resistance to permeation is a first-orderfunction. The validity of the test is based on the empirical correlations of the test results and actualdata from a database consisting of pilot or production plants. Examples are used to illustrate howMPI is used to optimize the conditions of pretreatment to mitigate the impact of membrane fouling.For plant operations, membrane fouling is a major issue for the operation of membrane plants.Assessing the nature of fouling and optimizing the chemical cleaning procedure is critical to maintaining plant productivity while minimizing the plant downtime and operating costs. The procedures for amembrane cleaning study have been developed to address this issue. Examples applying thistechnique to diagnose the operational problems in the membrane pilot units and production plantsare presented. Includes 12 references, table, figures.

Keywords: Membranes; Fouling; Cleaning; Microfiltration; Ultrafiltration; Pretreatment; Chemicals

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