Treatment of industrial wastewater using VR Membranes

Vibrating membranes
Vibrating membranes

The membrane technologies have been one of the most used technologies for the treatment of water over the last two decades. It is a very high performing system, but it also presents a common problem, which is the sealing caused by the residue layers that accumulate on the surface of the membrane during the filtration process.

To resolve this problem, vibratory membranes VR were developed some time ago. The big difference compared to traditional membranes is that the basic design is vertical instead of horizontal, which means that the space required per unit is less than for other separation systems.

These vibrating membranes are capable of filtering any type of wastewater and can treat effluents with a high load of solids. In addition, it is a technology that does not require chemicals for operation, apart from those that are necessary for periodic cleaning of the membrane.

In a VR Membranes system, the liquid to be treated is almost immobile, circulating slowly between the elements of the parallel membranes. The cleaning action of the shear is created by vigorously vibrating the elements of the membrane in tangential direction to the surface of the membranes. The shear waves produced by the vibration of the membrane, mean that the solids are made to rise to the surface of the membrane and that they are once again mixed with the material or effluent that moves inside the membrane. This intense shear allows the pores of the membrane to be cleaner, achieving a higher performance than conventional membranes.

Vibratory membranes allow you to recuperate around 90% of the treated water as clean water that can be emptied or reused.

The type of membrane that is used in VR systems varies depending on the effluent to be treated. A very general classification would be as follows:

  1. Reverse osmosis membranes for the separation of materials.
  2. Nanofiltration membranes for the treatment of wastewater and for concentration.
  3. Ultrafiltration membranes for oil separation and concentration.
  4. Microfiltration membranes to separate the biggest particles from a liquid phase.

Other important parameters are pressure, temperature, amplitude of the vibration and the time of residence of the material inside the membrane.

All of these parameters are optimized during initial tests and are then recorded in a PLC that controls the system automatically.

In addition to all of this, it must be added that this is a modular system that can be modified after installation, should it be necessary:

  1. It can be added easily to an existing system to improve the performance.
  2. It can be installed in areas where space is limited.
  3. It is easy to transport and can be moved from one plant to another.
  4. It can be installed in multiple systems or phases as a single step.
  5. More units can be added in accordance with the increase in production.