Carbon dioxide membrane flushing tackles biofouling

Membrane filtration is used by the drinking water and food industry throughout the world. Vitens is currently using this filtration technology at multiple points in its production process.Membrane filters are currently cleaned throughout the world with chemical products, such as caustic soda and citric acid. The cleaning process takes hours and consequently delays operations. Furthermore, the filters never become 100% clean, as a result of which product quality deteriorates and the membrane filters require more frequent replacement. By cleaning the filters with a mixture of water and CO2, the filters are effectively scrubbed clean by small bubbles. In contrast to air, CO2 is easily soluble in water, as a result of which air-locking is no longer an issue. This process only takes 15 minutes and is four times better for the environment than cleaning with chemicals. The filters become cleaner, which increases the lifespan of the filters and the quality of the end-product.“With the help of this new technology, we are saving the environment and we are realising significant savings on the cost of new filters,” says Bas Rietman, Process Technologist. “Furthermore, the length of time that our business process is down is reduced".In many countries people are dependent on membrane filtration for clean drinking water. Membrane filtration makes it possible to remove very fine particles from the water. This is why this technology, for example, is used to convert seawater or river water into drinking water. This way drinking water supply companies in the Middle East, South Europe and the USA can profit from it.