In water treatment, microfiltration is a process by which sludge is passed through membrane filters to separate suspended solid particles – including microorganisms, sediment, algae, protozoa and large bacteria – from filtered liquid (filtrate). Microfiltration, therefore, enables the physical separation of suspended solids from filtrate, eliminating the costs and environmental impact of chemical dosing. Apart from its disinfectant function, microfiltration also reduces the turbidity caused by suspended solid particles.
Although, microfiltration does plays a significant role in the separation of pathogens from the filtrate, subsequent treatment is required to remove certain microscopic and dissolved materials including organic matter, small colloids and viruses.
To prevent fouling and to maintain the permeability of filter membranes, backwashing is essential to the microfiltration process.
Microfiltration in Industry
Microfiltration plays a significant role in the pharmaceutical and beverage industries. The ‘cold sterilisation’ capacity of the microfiltration process maintains the efficacy of pharmaceuticals and obviates the loss of flavour common to beer, wine and fruit juice following the application of heat.
Other industrial applications are: water recovery in food processing, textile production and paper mills; water treatment for cooling systems; filtration for the recovery of primary metals; and water filtration in fish breeding farms.
Oceania Water Treatment recommends and distributes the Teknofanghi SCRUFILTER®, a tried and tested, continuous microfiltration system designed and manufactured to superior standards.