The wide variety of water reuse applications has led to an equally wide array of fouling issues which require increasingly tailored solutions. These issues can be detrimental to membrane lifespans and significantly increase operating costs. Determining the causes of fouling issues is the purpose of a membrane autopsy. Membrane autopsies are an invasive methodology of directly examining likely causes of poor membrane performance by directly examining the membrane surface. The characterization of foulant on the membrane surface provides a snapshot of systemic challenges from which potential solutions can be identified. This paper reviews results from autopsies on water re-use membranes ranging from industrial to municipal applications. The featured membranes were sourced from different regions across the globe. Autopsies were performed by Genesys Membrane Products (GMP) in Madrid and PWT Chemicals in California. The review will include a statistical summary of different foulant and scale types found through 50 autopsies performed on Microfiltration (MF), Ultrafiltration (UF), Nanofiltration (NF), and Reverse Osmosis (RO) membranes. The data was collected over a period of 5 years from 2016 to 2021. The authors will review historical results of the autopsies and link trends in potential fouling and scaling issues to membrane placement, water quality, and system design; including an in-depth look at specific representative cases of foulant location and composition.
This presentation is available to AMTA Members only.
- Gregory Sato
- PWT Chemicals
- AMTA/AWWA Membrane Technology Conference, Las Vegas
- AMTA/AWWA Membrane Technology Conference
- Foulant Composition, Nanofiltration, Reverse Osmosis