UF Ultra-Filtration Systems

What is an Ultrafiltration System and How Does It Work?

What is UF Ultrafiltration System?

Water Treatment Process

In short, Ultrafiltration is a water treatment process that utilise a hollow fiber or a sheet membrane to filter water that has very tiny particulate. An ultrafiltration system therefore make use of this incredible fine membrane technology to filter particulate down to 0.025 microns. To help you get an idea of just how small that is, the diameter of a human hair is typically about 75-80 microns. This implies that an ultrafiltration system works on a micro-level, therefore taking all suspended solids out of the water.

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UF ultrafiltration systems

What Does Ultrafiltration Remove?

You The Puritech 5-stage UF System offers the perfect filtration option for users looking for a basic system that also offers excellent water filtration and has no water waste.

Stage 1: Melt Blown Filter

Removes suspended particles like dust, rust & sand or small stones.

Stage 2: GAC Filter

Removes chemicals or bad taste or smell in water including chlorine & other chemicals

Stage 3: Carbon Filter

Removes any residual suspended particles missed by filter 2

Stage 4: Ultra Filter Membrane

Removes very small particles like Microplastics, Silt, Bacteria & Parasites

Stage 5

Removes any residual tastes that may have somehow not been removed by the previous 4 stages

The water then flows through an inline carbon polishing filter before flowing to your tap.

What is Ultrafiltration (UF) Plant and its importance?

Most regions around the world utilize ultrafiltration plants to maintain sufficient preservation of clean water for public consumption. The water filtration efficiency achieved by UF systems are around 250 times greater than conventional media filtration systems. These plants are also very suitable for many industries that require ultrapure water pushed out from these factories. The ultrafiltration membranes used in these plants are enforced to lower turbidity or utilize as pretreatment to maintain the effectiveness of your reverse osmosis membrane. These plants are generally considered to be of low cost, easy to operate, carry no contaminate residue, and have a considerably high recovery ratio.

UF ultrafiltration system get rid of solids and particulate from the water effectively and efficiently. Ultrafiltration systems eliminate all suspended particulate in water on a microscopic level. Mr. Washington, our Master Water Specialist, tackles the most frequently asked questions about ultrafiltration.

Frequently Asked Questions

An ultrafiltration system can filter the most solid particulates in fluids, but it is not able to filter out dissolved particulate like a reverse osmosis system. However, an ultrafiltration system can filter smaller particulate than a microfiltration or standard carbon filter can.

Ultrafiltration systems work almost like any other water filtration system. In a sediment filter, water flows through and captures particulate with the porosity of the filter. An ultrafiltration system works in the same way except that it filters anything larger than 0.025 micron, which is much more than your average sediment filter. Typically, we put a carbon filter on the system too to remove bad taste and odor along with suspended solids. 

  • Point-of-use: These are typically used for under-the-counter water systems. 
  • Point-of-entry: These are typically used to run water for applications that do not require water filtered as fine. 

The membranes in these different systems are going to be configured differently, but they do the same thing. Both systems mechanically filter particulate down to 0.025 microns under the sink. The water filtered through this system flows to a special tap so that just drinking water, or water that you would use to cook with, is accessible through a specified faucet. You don’t need water filtered down to 0.025 microns to rinse your dishes or wash your hands, so we would run another faucet. The point-of-entry system processes all the water running into your house and is very good at tannin reduction (typically caused by organics - tea leaves, for example, create tannins) and removing colloidal suspension (refers to a solution of highly suspended particulate that won't settle and remains dispersed).

Learn more about how ultrafiltration membranes work or how reverse osmosis works.

An ultrafiltration system will get rid of any suspended particulate larger than 0.025 microns. That means it can filter out inorganic solids, viruses, and bacteria because of their size. What an ultrafiltration system can't do is pull out dissolved minerals like a reverse osmosis system can. So, it's really great at filtering anything that's a solid, but not as good at removing dissolved solids. 

Ultrafiltration systems, like point-of-use drinking water systems, can be applied anywhere you want filtered water. It can provide water filtration for a point-of-use water cooler, such as filtration systems under the counter or even with coffee brewers or some types of ice machines.

Ultrafiltration systems are simple to install. This product simply hooks up to a line in the system so that water flows through the filters and the ultrafiltration membrane. Then, the out-line goes to a faucet. A dedicated faucet is typically best to provide the water from the ultrafiltration system, but it is still simple to install.

Ultrafiltration systems typically come with carbon filters. It is recommended that you don’t leave your filter in place for longer than one year. There is a gallon capacity rating on most filters, so you really don't want to exceed that. Most hollow fiber membranes can last longer than that, depending upon your quality of water. However, you have to keep an eye on it. When your water flow starts to slow down, it may be time to replace the membrane.

 

In wastewater treatment, ultrafiltration (UF) devices are used to recycle and reuse water that contains virtually no physical solids.

Ultrafiltration definition, applications and industries using these process units are covered below.

Ultrafiltration (UF) is a variety of membrane filtration in which forces like pressure or concentration gradients lead to a separation through a semipermeable membrane. Suspended solids and solutes of high molecular weight are retained in the so-called retentate, while water and low molecular weight solutes pass through the membrane in the permeate.

UF can be used for removal of particulates and macromolecules from raw water, to produce potable water. It has been used to either replace existing secondary (coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation) and tertiary filtration (sand filtration and chlorination) systems employed in water-treatment plants or as standalone systems in isolated regions with growing populations. When treating water with high suspended solids, UF is often integrated into the process, using primary (screening, flotation and filtration) and some secondary treatments as pre-treatment stages. Ultrafiltration processes are preferred over traditional treatment methods for the following reasons:

  1. No chemicals required (aside from cleaning)
  2. Constant product quality regardless of feed quality
  3. Compact plant size
  4. Capable of exceeding regulatory standards of water quality, achieving 90-100% pathogen removal.

When water recycling is simple, it often needs very little processing.  However,   when more intensive processing is required, the industry standard procedures include using UF, which is meant to remove physical solids from water by passing it through a semi-permeable membrane.  Using ultrafiltration, solids are primarily captured by the filter and discarded.

Recycled water can also be used for a number of industrial purposes, including boiler or cooling tower feed water supplementation, pH adjustment, washing equipment, hardstands and vehicles, fire protection, process rinse water or processing water for production lines in manufacturing industries, toilet flushing, dust control, construction activities, and concrete mixing.

In addition to providing a dependable, locally controlled water supply, water recycling provides tremendous environmental benefits. By providing an additional source of water, water recycling offers ways to decrease the diversion of water from vital, sensitive ecosystems, thus ensuring that sufficient water flows to plant, wildlife, and fish habitats—allowing them to live and reproduce. A lack of adequate flow, as a result of diversion for agricultural, urban, and industrial purposes, can cause deterioration of both water quality and ecosystem health. Water users can fulfill their demands by using recycled water, which can free substantial amounts of water for the environment. Other environmental benefits include a reduction in wastewater discharges and reducing or preventing the potential for pollution.

Recycled water can save energy. As the demand for water increases, more water is extracted, treated, and transported, sometimes over great distances, which can require a lot of energy. Also, if the local source of water is groundwater, as more water is removed, the water level drops, which in turn increases energy needed to pump the water to the surface. Recycling water onsite or nearby reduces the energy needed to move water longer distances or to pump water from deep within an aquifer.

Tailoring water quality to a specific water use also reduces the energy needed to treat water. The water quality required to flush a toilet is less stringent than the water quality needed for drinking water and requires less energy to achieve. Using recycled water that is of lower quality for uses that do not require high-quality water saves energy and money by reducing water or wastewater treatment requirements.

Ultrafiltration is used in certain industries to accommodate reuse. Therefore, cost justification for ultrafiltration can include initial capital investment, membrane fouling and replacement costs and also additional pretreatment of feed water to prevent excessive damage to the membranes in the Ultrafiltration Units. Some of the benefits, however, remain more intangible.

Industries that consume large volumes of water or discharge highly toxic effluent are candidates to employ ultrafiltration for water reuse.

These include the chemicals, steel, plastics & resins, paper & pulp, pharmaceutical and the food & beverage industries, including soft drinks & canned foods, as well as power, water & wastewater treatment plants and others.

Ultrafiltration is used to recycle flow or add value to later products and more. In many cases ultrafiltration (UF) is used for prefiltration in reverse-osmosis plants to protect the reverse-osmosis process. Ultrafiltration is an effective means of reducing the silt density index of water and removing particulates that can foul reverse osmosis membranes.

Ultrafiltration is frequently used to pretreat surface water, seawater and biologically treated municipal water upstream of the reverse osmosis unit.

 

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