As UF/MF membrane modules reach the end of their useful life, end-users have more options than ever before to either purchase direct module replacements or upgrade the system. Recent trends and advancements in membrane materials, configuration, and process design have improved the performance of low pressure membrane systems. With more options for high quality membrane modules available, a systematic process is required in selecting which membrane is the best fit for a specific retrofit application. Considerations such as available footprint, existing physical skid design, process differences, water quality, and flow paths are required while taking into account existing plant controls, ancillary equipment, and installation time. Membrane system retrofits are carried out to address expansion capacity in the existing system framework, technical obsolescence of original equipment, high pricing of proprietary module replacements, or unsatisfactory membrane performance. Although retrofit costs can be significant, ranging from 20-50% of original equipment capital cost, there are often life cycle cost benefits associated with achieving higher production rates and/or decreasing operations costs through reduced fiber breakage and fouling. A comparison of multiple case studies is provided, highlighting projects in Oregon, Alabama, and Texas with system flow rates of 45 GPM, 3 MGD, and 10 MGD. These projects vary in membrane type and complexity of the retrofit process, ranging from reuse of existing equipment with minor plumbing and process changes to complete rack replacement and controls/ancillary equipment upgrades. Factors affecting approach are discussed, such as system layout, footprint constraints, cost, and overall project goals.
This presentation is available to AMTA Members only.
- Dan Dye, PhD, PE / Jason Nay / Elisabeth Linton, PE
- WesTech Engineering, Inc.
- AMTA/AWWA Membrane Technology Conference, Long Beach, CA
- AMTA/AWWA Membrane Technology Conference
- Membrane, Ultrafiltration, Design, Case Study, Retrofit