Feedback on service life of treatment plant membrane technology
As the potential operator of a treatment plant with bioreactor and membrane filtration, I was wondering what the service life would be, specifically how long until complete replacement of the membranes is required.
Are there products that are particularly cost-effective or others to be avoided?
Generally speaking these are tried and tested systems, but it is difficult to give a reliable answer because a lot of factors come into play in estimating the longevity, which can be anywhere from 5 to 15 years. The main issue is the quality of the pretreatment and especially the screening. There should always be a buffer tank, and standard pretreatment upstream from it. You then want to have fine screening at inlet between the buffer tank and the bioreactor.
The membranes themselves have to be carefully maintained: air bubble distribution, surface shear, integrity of the material, sludge quality (fibrous material, reagents such as polymers, age, concentration, etc.) Complete physical and visual inspection of the membranes must be performed at least once a year by removing and cleaning them.
If you perform routine, preventive maintenance, they should last at least 10 years.
In terms of products, I recommend hollow fiber (Zenon, Puron...) over flat plate membranes.
I oversee a treatment plant that uses a hollow fiber-based MBR system.
We are currently refurbishing ours, which has lasted 7 years. We are using the same supplier but installing a new generation of more resistant and high-performance membranes.
Our experience is that the service life was less than anticipated because of the fine sand present in our effluent. Despite aggressive pre-treatment and routine membrane maintenance, they degraded more quickly since we are located in a coastal area.
Hope that gives you some insight.
Membrane technology is not suitable for all applications, they are expensive, foul easily and the energy requirements are too expensive. We have found that we can handle any fluid from Tailing ponds to produced fluids at a rate of 1/3 of the cost and energy of membranes. Take another look at your options and choices.
Good luck. www.westernfracvap.com