Aqua Membranes collaborates with Micron Technology to target operational improvements and reduce power consumption

Aqua Membranes, a water technology company specialising in sustainable reuse, is sharing preliminary results of an ongoing pilot project with memory chip giant, Micron Technology, Inc.

Semiconductor - Image © Shuo - Adobe Stock.

In 2021, Micron invested in Aqua Membranes to help accelerate the development of their Printed Spacer Technology in microelectronics applications. Micron plans to continue testing Printed Spacer Technology in different RO applications and evaluate performance against other commercially available membranes for its full-scale systems.

'Utilising Aqua Membranes components in our RO water treatment systems to reduce energy consumption and the associated emissions supports Micron’s ongoing commitment to sustainability improvements, while maintaining our stringent quality standards,' said Elizabeth Elroy, vice president of Global EHS and Sustainability at Micron. 

The pilot system is comprised of two identical units running in parallel, which allows the Printed Spacer Technology to run in direct comparison with mesh spacers employed in the same RO skid. Variable frequency drives (VFD) are used to adjust primary pressure on each system and maintain a constant 63 gallons per minute (GPM) of product water at a recovery rate of 65 percent from the 16 element systems. Banking was 3:1 with four vessels total and four elements per vessel.

A slower rate of fouling allows for longer intervals between cleaning, which results in lower maintenance costs and extends the longevity of the membrane life. This, combined with the lower energy consumption, means Aqua Membranes’ Printed Spacer Technology elements show potential to significantly lower the cost of RO membrane operation. With the success of the Boise pilot, Micron is exploring usage of Aqua Membranes’ Printed Spacer Technology elements in its high volume fabs, including at its planned facility in Clay, New York.