Water Purification Technologies - Ultrafiltration

What is Ultrafiltration?

Ultrafiltration (UF) is a water filtration process that uses a tough, thin, selectively permeable permeable membrane to remove particles and contaminants from water. The process works by applying pressure to the liquid, forcing it through the membrane, which acts as a filter.

How Does Ultrafiltration Work?

The membrane used in ultrafiltration is made of small pores that are small enough to trap impurities, but large enough to allow water molecules to pass through. This means that ultrafiltration can effectively remove a wide range of particles and impurities, including bacteria, viruses, algae, and other microorganisms, as well as dissolved solids and macromolecules.

What does ultrafiltration remove?

Ultrafiltration is effective in removing larger particles and contaminants in water such as:

  • Plastics
  • Proteins
  • Endotoxins
  • Silica
  • Sediments
  • Viruses and Bacteria
  • Heavy Metals

Benefits of Ultrafiltration

There are many benefits to using ultrafiltration. One of the main benefits is that it is a very efficient way to purify water, as it can remove a wide range of impurities while still allowing water molecules to pass through. This makes it ideal for use in a variety of applications, including water purification, wastewater treatment, and industrial processing.

Noteworthy benefits of ultrafiltration solutions:

  • Chemical free processes – No need for chemical disinfectants or pH modifiers.
  • Simple automation and constant flow of purified water.
  • Eco-friendly due to decreased need for plastic water containers, and possibilities for the reuse of wastewater.

Ultrafiltration System Maintenance

Another benefit of ultrafiltration is that it is relatively low-maintenance, and requires only minimal operator intervention. Additionally, it is a relatively low-energy process, which makes it an environmentally friendly and budget friendly option.

Ultrafiltration vs Reverse Osmosis

Ultra filtration is different from reverse osmosis (RO) in that reverse osmosis systems use a much finer membrane and therefore can remove finer salts, fluorides, and other dissolved impurities which ultrafiltration can't remove. Smaller molecules, such as solvents and ionized contaminants, are allowed to pass into the filtrate. Thus, ultrafiltration provides a retained fraction (retentate) that is rich in large molecules and a filtrate that contains few, if any, of these molecules. However, ultrafiltration is able to handle higher volumes of water, proving an attractive option for larger scale homes and facilities.

Ultrafilters are available in several selective ranges. In all cases, the membranes will retain most, but not necessarily all, molecules above their rated size.

What To Do Next

If you find yourself in need of an across the board solution for cleaner, safer water, APEC provides a variety of water purification systems for all homes of all locations and sizes. Explore our collection of whole house water filtration systems to unlock purified water today.

Table 5. Ultrafiltration
Advantages Disadvantages
  • Effectively removes most particles, pyrogens, microorganisms, and colloids above their rated size.
  • Produces highest quality water for least amount of energy.
  • Regenerable.
  • Will not remove dissolved inorganics.

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