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reverse osmosis

  • TriSep Introduces New Membrane Concepts

    Posted on December 19, 2013 by Sterlitech Corporation

    The field of membrane technology is constantly changing and growing with new technologies to tackle new problems and introduce new capabilities.  TriSep Corporation is one the companies that is leading the way with its innovations, which they discuss in the December issue of International Filtration News Magazine.

    In TriSep's article, they introduce three new technologies:

    • A line of high-temperature elements that are capable of continuous operation and periodic sanitation.
    • TurboClean® sanitary hard shell elements, which provides higher flow velocity and efficiency than traditional sanitary elements.
    • The iSepTM ultrafiltration membrane, the first UF membrane that is specifically designed to the handle high-fouling water and wastewater feeds.

    The full article can be found in PDF form here.

    This post was posted in bench scale, cross-flow filtration, waste and wastewater treatment, TriSep, Flat sheet membrane, reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration

  • Preconditioning Flat Sheet Membranes for Use

    Posted on September 16, 2013 by Sterlitech Corporation

    Flat sheet membranes that are not pre-conditioned may have different behaviors and fluxes, which will give inconsistent results (microfiltration membranes are an exception).  Figure 4 below illustrates the instability of the flux, particularly at the start of the trial, through unconditioned membranes.

    To precondition the membrane:

    • Load the membrane into the filtration cell that you’re using.
    • Fill the feed system with deionized water and pressurize the cell.  The temperature of the water and the pressure used should be exactly the same as the temperature and pressure that will be used in the actual trials.
    • Run the deionized water through the cell for two hours.  After about 30 minutes, flux through the membrane will stabilize after a sharp fall.  Over the next 90 minutes, the flux should be steady, indicating that the membrane is conditioned.


    This post was posted in Did you know, bench scale, cross-flow filtration, Flat sheet membrane, reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, Nanofiltration, CF042, Sepa CF II

  • New Sepa CF II Assembly Tutorial Video

    Posted on July 23, 2013 by Sterlitech Corporation

    Today, we have a new video that shows you how to assemble a Sepa CF II cell and get it ready to perform reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, ultrafiltration or microfiltration at pressures up 1000 psig (69 bar).

    To learn more about the Sepa CF II, you can visit our Sepa CF II page here.

    This post was posted in bench scale, cross-flow filtration, Flat sheet membrane, reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, Nanofiltration

  • CF042 Crossflow Cell In Action

    Posted on June 13, 2013 by Sterlitech Corporation

    If you've ever wanted to see a bit of reverse osmosis in action, here it is. In this video, we use CF042 Acrylic Cell to separate blue dye from water. This demonstration is run at 200 psi and uses a Toray 70UB reverse osmosis membrane to achieve separation.

    Also making a cameo appearance in this video is the HP4750 Stirred Cell, which is being used to hold up the tubing, but is not actually part of the separation process this time.


    To learn more about the products featured in the video, just visit our website:


    This post was posted in bench scale, applications, reverse osmosis

  • Ultrasonic EcoMembrane Wins Honorable Mention for Innovation

    Posted on May 30, 2013 by Sterlitech Corporation

    It's no secret that water is essential to our lives.  Aside from the daily essentials like drinking or washing, water plays a role in many different industrial processes, whether it be as a solvent, a coolant, a medium for suspension, or in irrigation.  Water even finds its way into art with public fountains, water color paints, and ceramic pottery.  With so many uses for water, is it any wonder that so many places in the world are starved for it?

    The problem of increasing water scarcity led Jaffer Alali (pictured on the right) to develop the EcoMembrane as a potential solution and enter it into the University of Washington's (UW) Environmental Innovation Challenge.  Hailing from Saudi Arabia, Jaffer knows a thing or two about the difficulty of providing water to an arid region.  Before he began the EcoMembrane project at the UW, he spent over 10 years working in seawater treatment at Saudi Aramco and studied environmental engineering at the University of Alabama.

    The EcoMembrane started with an ordinary reverse osmosis (RO) membrane.  What sets the EcoMembrane apart from other RO membranes is the piezoelectric (PZT) ceramic disk that has been attached to it.  The PZT disk vibrates at ultrasonic frequencies to form millions of tiny cavitation bubbles in the flow of water to the membrane.  The rapid implosion of these bubbles is not enough to disrupt the flow of water through an RO system, but it is sufficient to remove the contaminants that stick to the membrane surface and significantly reduce fouling.

    The EcoMembrane system's capability to mitigate fouling gives it the potential to greatly reduce the costs associated with RO desalination.  It can extend the lifetime of a given membrane, reduce the need for costly pre-treatments, and increase flow rates through a system, all of which provide greater cost efficiency over currently deployed reverse osmosis technology.  These features and the growing global market for clean, potable water earned it and Jaffer an Honorable Mention in the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge (the competition is run by the Foster School of Business).

    Jaffer Alali tested the EcoMembrane and proved his concept right here at Sterlitech Corporation, using the HP4750 stirred cell and CF042 crossflow cell to run his experiments.  "The experiment would be almost impossible to run without Sterlitech's equipment because of the heat generated and the pressures required," Jaffer told us, as he recounted his first attempts to test his idea with a system of pressure washers that quickly broke down.  He plans to extend the EcoMembrane technology to include hollow fiber filters, which have a much greater surface area than flat sheet membranes but are much more susceptible to fouling.


    This post was posted in Did you know, bench scale, applications, cross-flow filtration, water and wastewater treatment, Flat sheet membrane, reverse osmosis

  • Lockheed Martin Patents an Energy-saving Reverse Osmosis Membrane

    Posted on April 29, 2013 by Sterlitech Corporation

    The name Lockheed Martin invokes images of high tech aircraft, secret weapons, and other technologies that seem a whole lot more exciting than a reverse osmosis (RO) membrane.  However, Perforene™, Lockheed Martin’s latest innovation, promises to be an exciting new development for RO desalination. It’s made from graphene, an allotrope of carbon where the atoms arranged in hexagonal cells to make a sheet that is only one atom thick.  The next thinnest RO membrane is about 500 times thicker than Perforene™.  It is the almost impossible thinness of the membrane that makes it so exciting for RO; it takes about 100 times less energy to push water through the membrane when compared to the average RO membrane available commercially today.

    The Perforene™ membrane was developed by placing holes that are one nanometer or less in diameter into the membrane.  These holes are small enough to trap the ions while dramatically improving the flow-through of water molecules, reducing clogging and pressure on the membrane.  Although it is only one atom thick, graphene is both stronger and more durable than almost any other material could be at this scale.

    The combination of strength, high permeability, and excellent selectivity could make Perforene™ the key to cheaper desalination costs in plants across the globe.  And cheaper desalination can mean better access to fresh water in arid places such as North Africa, the Middle East or the Western United States. As the world’s population continues to grow, the demand for fresh water for drinking, agriculture, and industry will grow along with it. Perforene™ can make meeting those demands easier.

    Perforene was developed and tested with the help of Sterlitech’s CF042 crossflow cell, a lab scale cross flow filtration unit designed to provide fast and accurate performance data with minimal amounts of product, expense, and time.  It enables researchers to study membrane performance in the small scale before committing resources to larger process scale systems.  Sterlitech offers the CF042 in different materials to meet different needs, in addition to the larger Sepa CF crossflow cells and the smaller HP4750 stirred cell.  Recently, we also began offering the Sepa and CF042 in Forward Osmosis (FO) configurations to further enable research into new water technologies.  Further details can be obtained by contacting us.


    This post was posted in bench scale, water treatment, reverse osmosis, Customer Highlight

  • New Toray Reverse Osmosis Membranes Available From Sterlitech

    Posted on April 8, 2013 by Sterlitech Corporation

    Toray has discontinued the production of their 80B Reverse Osmosis Membrane. But fear not, because they have also started producing a successor, called the 80E, that Sterlitech will be offering on our site.

    Both the 80B and its new, functional equivalent, the 80E, are polyamide membranes that are typically used for seawater desalination. A complete list of the product numbers we are discontinuing and the product numbers of the new membranes can be found below:

    Discontinued 80B Membranes;

    • YM80BSP475
    • YM80BSP195
    • YM80BSP42
    • YM80BSP18

    New 80E Membranes;

    • YM80ESP475
    • YM80ESP195
    • YM80ESP42
    • YM80ESP18


    This post was posted in Flat sheet membrane, reverse osmosis, Company News

  • New Dow FilmTec Membranes

    Posted on April 9, 2012 by Sterlitech Corporation

    Sterlitech is now carrying Dow FilmTec flat sheet membranes for reverse osmosis and nanofiltration separations. These high-performance membranes are available in Sepa CF, CF042, or HP4750 sizes, or as 12 x 12 inch sheets.

    The FilmTec line of spiral wound membranes was created by the experts at Dow Water & Process Solutions for industrial, municipal and commercial water applications. While they have often been used for large industrial processes like power generation and semiconductor plants, with our precut sizes it is easier than ever to implement these membranes for laboratory scale testing with a membrane test cell. For information on how to best utilize each membrane type, consult our application tab for recommended uses on each designation.

    This post was posted in Flat sheet membrane, reverse osmosis, Nanofiltration

  • Silt Density Index - The RO Gatekeeper

    Posted on July 20, 2011 by Sterlitech Corporation

    The Silt Density Index is most frequently used to determine fouling potential prior to RO filtration. You can think of SDI as a bouncer, keeping the riff-raff out of the RO feed water. The higher the number, the greater the likelihood of fouling. The maximum SDI number allowed depends on the type of RO membrane being used; most manufacturers recommend a maximum SDI of 4 or 5.

    SDI is found by calculating the rate at which a membrane filter is plugged. ASTM standard D4189-07 defines that the nominal filter for this application is a white hydrophilic MCE membrane filter, with 0.45 μm pore size and a 47 mm diameter. The reason this particular membrane is used is that it is more susceptible to plugging from colloidal material than from hard particles such as sand, therefore giving a better indication of the factors that might plug an RO membrane down the line.

    Other measures that can be derived from the SDI include the plugging factor and the Modified Fouling Index (MFI). The plugging factor expresses the level of suspended solids as a percentage of the measured SDI value to the maximum SDI value, so a 100% plugging factor would indicate that your membrane is completely plugged. The MFI incorporates cake filtration theory into its calculation of fouling potential. Since this formula is more complex than SDI, it is not as frequently used in the field.

    SDI can be determined manually or automatically with a measurement kit. Got any tips or experiences measuring SDI? Let us know in the comments!

    This post was posted in water treatment, reverse osmosis, RO

  • Quenching the Thirst for Potable Water Through Nanotechnology

    Posted on June 6, 2011 by Sterlitech Corporation

    After our last post discussing how experiments with carbon nanotubes (CNT’s) might greatly improve the effectiveness of reverse osmosis desalination now comes a new report from the Institute of Physics that shows researchers are getting closer to making this a reality. Already over a billion people do not have regular access to clean water and the problem will likely get worse as the demand for drinkable water is expected to grow dramatically in the near future. With natural sources increasingly scarce, this urgent need means there is an intense global interest in any potentially viable forms of water purification.

    Right now the main issues preventing RO desalination on a large-scale basis are that the membranes used to perform seawater to freshwater separation do not remove salt ions with enough efficiency and they also require great amounts of energy (and therefore expense) in order to purify the water. Jason Reese, a Professor of Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics at the University of Strathclyde and also the author of this report, states, “The holy grail of reverse-osmosis desalination is combining high water-transport rates with efficient salt-ion rejection.” Incredibly, these little carbon nanotubes may be able to satisfy both of these requirements for widespread adoption.

    Early tests and simulations have shown that CNT membranes could have water permeability that is 20 times greater than today’s materials. Additionally, carbon nanotubes can be chemically tailored to better reject salt ions, thus improving upon the desalination process in multiple key areas.

    While it is still early, these features are promising enough that scientists such as Professor Reese feel it is a very real possibility that this application of nanotechnology could be used to curtail our growing water demand.

    Read more about this report here.

    This post was posted in Water Sterilization, environmental lab, water and wastewater treatment, water treatment, reverse osmosis, RO

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