Ultrafiltration is a process that uses organic polymeric membranes to filter particles based on their size and it is typically used to separate or remove bacteria and macromolecules with a molecular weight greater than about 300,000 daltons from wastewater in both municipal and industrial applications. The configuration in which the membrane is used within a biological process is called MBR (Membrane BioReactor) which indicates the water purification process with activated sludge (BioReactor) in which the liquid-solid separation phase is carried out through a membrane filtration unit (the Membranes) instead of a secondary clarifier, that is the usual sludge separation stage adopted in conventional activated sludge plants. On the other hand, when membranes are used as a polishing stage after a biological process, it is called TT (Tertiary Treatement), which is a process whose ultrafiltration aims to remove bacteria and macromolecules downstream in a secondary clarifier stage. Another possible application of polymeric membranes is in the production of drinking water from sea water/rivers/lakes etc. where ultrafiltration is introduced as a fundamental treatment to remove suspended solids and bacteria before sending the water to furthers polishing stages (activated carbon/UV) and to the distribution network.
Gas permeable membranes for biofilm aeration, on the other hand, are a recently introduced innovative technology often referred to as MABR (Membrane Aerated Biological Reactor). This technology is applied to the treatment of municipal wastewater which is based on the ability of bacterial biofilms to develop and grow on membranes that act both as a support for their growth and as a means through which the oxygen necessary for their reproduction is supplied.
MBR stands for “Membrane BioReactor”, which indicates the water purification process with activated sludge (BioReactor) in which the liquid-solid separation phase is performed by membrane filtration instead of secondary clarifiers units, like in conventional sludge plants.
TT stands for Tertiary Treatement, which is a process whose ultrafiltration aims to remove bacteria and macromolecules downstream of a secondary clarifier unit. The application with pressurized membranes is usually used to obtain a very high quality permeate to be re-used in agriculture, or within industrial production cycles.
Another possible application of the ZeeWeed organic polymeric membranes is in the production of drinking water starting from sea water/rivers/lakes etc., in which a high level of control on the water quality is required for human consumption. Ultrafiltration in this case carries out a fundamental polishing stage able to remove suspended solids and bacteria before sending the water to furthers polishing stage (activated carbon/UV) and then to the distribution network or to RO sections (reverse osmosis).
The term MABR stands for “Membrane Aerated Biological Reactor”, and it defines a particular application of gas permeable membranes in the municipal wastewater treatment field based on the ability of organic biofilms to develop and grow on membranes that act at the same time as a support and device for the supply of the oxygen necessary for their reproduction, with a very low energy consumption and a high transfer efficiency.