Separation of suspended solids and high molecular weight solutes
Ultrafiltration (UF) is used for the separation of suspended solids, colloids, high molecular weight solutes and other compounds, using semi-permeable membranes with pore sizes ranging from 1-100nm. By using hydrostatic pressure, the liquid is forced against a semi-permeable membrane. Suspended solids and solutes of high molecular weight are retained, while water and low molecular weight solutes pass through the membrane. UF is used as a pre-treatment step in Reverse Osmosis (RO) processes, especially for treating drinking water. It also serves as a final step in many industrial applications and is often used as a barrier in biological applications.
Among UF's advantages are:
- Low energy consumption
- TSS removal to <0.1 microns
- Removal of bacteria and viruses to 3 log