The American Membrane Technology Association (AMTA) offers Members-only access to our proprietary Fact Sheets, a series of technical papers authored specifically for AMTA by professionals in every field of water treatment expertise. Fact Sheets provide information on every aspect of membrane technology, system design, application, operation, and key industry definitions. They include summarized case studies, technical overviews, and information useful to membrane system designers, operators, regulatory agencies, academia, and the general public.
Fact Sheets can be used to help educate the public on water treatment technologies and advance the benefits of membrane treatment to improve water quality and expand potential water supplies.
To view the Fact Sheets in their entirety, please select one of the links below.
While the Fact Sheet library is constantly increasing, here is a summary of the papers currently available to our Members:
- Application of Membrane Technologies: Reverse Osmosis, microfiltration, ultrafiltration and membrane bioreactor technologies have seen significant growth over the past twenty years. This Fact Sheet contains an overview of membrane technologies with their general use, applications and benefits.
- Membrane Filtration (MF/UF): Low pressure microfiltration (MF) and ultrafiltration (UF) membrane technology have emerged as viable options for addressing current and future drinking water regulations related to the treatment of surface water, groundwater under the influence, and water reuse applications for microbial and turbidity removal. A brief review of the technology, as well as a summary of selection criteria and considerations are given in this Fact Sheet.
- Nanofiltration and Reverse Osmosis (NF/RO): Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a physical separation process in which properly pretreated source water is delivered at moderate pressures against a semipermeable membrane. The membrane rejects most solute ions and molecules, while allowing water of very low mineral content to pass through. A brief review and criteria to consider when selecting an RO membrane processes are discussed in this Fact Sheet.
- Disposal of Desalting By-Product: Desalination plants produce by-product as they separate salts, minerals, and other dissolved constituents from the water. The stream containing the separated dissolved components is called concentrate. The Fact Sheet examines several methods of disposing of the concentrate and contains a discussion on why concentrate is not an industrial waste.
- Public Safety and Security: Reasons why membrane filtration should be considered for water treatment to insure water safety and confidence are given in this Fact Sheet.
- Membrane Desalination Costs: The cost factors of membrane desalting include capital costs and operating and maintenance costs. Costs can vary considerably from one locality to another based on a number of issues. This Fact Sheet presents some of the costs that have been documented in membrane desalination and offers a comparison to conventional treatment.
- Membrane Desalination Power Usage Put in Perspective: The value of seawater desalination, a new supply, which is under local control and is essentially independent of climate changes and land use, should be carefully considered when comparing desalination to other alternatives. This Fact Sheet focuses on seawater desalination utilizing Reverse Osmosis technology.
- Water Desalination Processes: Desalination is generally divided into two primary categories: Distillation Processes and Membrane Processes. Both are discussed in this Fact Sheet with a focus on membrane processes such as Reverse Osmosis and Electro-Dialysis Reversal systems.
- Membrane Desalination Water Quality: Pressure driven membrane-based desalting processes can be used to improve the quality of a variety of waters (high in concentrations of magnesium and calcium), waters contaminated with nitrates, radionuclides, herbicides and pesticides, natural and synthetic organics, and pathogens. This Fact Sheet delves into the water quality that is derived from membrane technology.
- Operation & Maintenance of Membrane Facilities: Membrane treatment plants are typically fully automated and easy to operate and maintain, with proper care. This Fact Sheet discusses design, staffing, operation and maintenance of membrane facilities.
- Future of Desalination in the United States: Membrane desalination technology is in use across the United States. Key issues that need to be addressed are discussed in this Fact Sheet. The future of desalination and expected growth are also discussed.
- Pretreatment for Membrane Processes: Proper pretreatment plays a critical role in the performance, life expectancy and the overall operating costs of membrane systems. Source water assessment, pretreatment objectives and options are all discussed in this Fact Sheet.
- Membrane Bio-Reactors (MBR): The use of Membrane Bio-Reactors (MBRs) in municipal wastewater treatment is growing primarily due to more stringent effluent water quality requirements, space constraints, lower operator involvement, modular expansion characteristics and consistent effluent water quality capabilities. MBR benefits, limitations, capital costs, capabilities and future expected growth are discussed.
- Membrane Separation Processes: Membrane systems available in a variety of separation capabilities have become the technology of choice to meet more stringent regulations. These include the removal of turbidity, precursors and disinfectant tolerant micro-organisms relating to both groundwater and surface water supplies, as well as tapping into new water supplies such as brackish and seawater. Included in this Fact Sheet is a ‘membrane processes capability relative to contaminant size’ graph.
- Planning and Procurement for Membrane Plants: This Fact Sheet covers the basic planning, piloting, procurement and construction of various membrane systems such as Seawater and Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis, EDR, Nanofiltration, Ultrafiltration, Microfiltration, as well as Integrated Membrane Systems (IMS).
- Membrane Post Treatment: This Fact Sheet gives a very detailed review of the need and options for post treatment of membrane plant product streams including blending, chemical addition, physical processes and more. Items to consider including pH, alkalinity, boron levels and others are discussed.
- Pilot Testing for Membrane Plants: Pilot plant testing offers the best method for evaluating the feasibility of a membrane application for a specific water supply. This Fact Sheet considers seasonal effects along with many other aspects of piloting a membrane process.
- Membrane Technologies Address Emerging Contaminants: Membrane processes are carefully examined as a possible as a tool in the tool box to deal with emerging contaminant removal challenges. Membrane technologies have been shown to be effective in removing many of the emerging contaminants of concern as either stand-alone processes or when integrated with other advanced technologies.
- Membrane Facility Instrumentation and Controls: Membrane facilities by nature tend to be automated, typically requiring more instrumentation and controls than conventional water treatment plants. This Fact Sheet gives a general description and discusses controls that are common to many membrane facilities.
- Industrial Applications of Membranes: Membrane processes are used for much more than municipal water treatment. This Fact Sheet describes the many industrial and commercial applications of membranes, including examples of food and dairy applications, metal recovery and much more.
- Ceramic Membranes: Ceramic Membranes with porosities in the Microfiltration and Ultrafiltration range are now readily available with very distinct technical properties. This Fact Sheet describes how ceramic membranes are manufactured, where they are being used, and the unique technical and economic considerations for this membrane type.
- Membrane Applications in Water Reuse Projects: Water Reuse is an integral component of proactive and sustainable water management planning. Membranes Technologies (including MF, UF, NF, RO, ED, EDR and MBR) have already been successfully used for a wide range of centralized and decentralized water reuse applications. The reliability and consistency in providing predictable water quality will ensure that membrane treatment processes will continue to make significant contributions to water reuse. This fact sheet covers the general aspects of water reuse and membrane applications.
- Forward Osmosis (FO): Forward Osmosis (FO) is an osmotic membrane process that utilizes a semi-permeable membrane to facilitate natural flow of water from a lower salinity feed solution on one side of the membrane to dilute a higher salinity draw solution on the other side. Unlike Reverse Osmosis (RO), FO is not hydraulically pressurized. FO is currently used in municipal, mining, Oil & gas and food & beverage industries. Continued improvements in FO process will significantly expand the FO market in the next decades. This fact sheet provides an overview of the FO process and covers some of its applications, advantages and limitations.
- Energy Recovery Devices: The largest contributor to the decrease in energy consumption in membrane desalination plants over the past three decades has been the advancements made in Energy Recovery Devices (ERDs). All ERDs used in the desalination plants reduce power by harnessing the energy in the concentrate waste stream and transferring it to the feed side via various methods. This fact sheet covers the application and benefits of various ERD systems.
- Applications of Membrane Technologies in Food and Beverage: Membranes are being used for separations in the food and beverage industry. Complex membrane systems are run in the dairy industry for the treatment of milk and production of cheese. Fruit juices are obtained using membranes and even concentration of maple sap utilizes nanofiltration. This fact sheet describes the many applications of membranes for food and beverage processing and highlights the use of ceramic membranes that has found a niche in this industry.