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Efficient membrane filtration units with integrated High Frequency Backpulsing device (HI-FRE)
Start date: 01 Jun 2009, End date: 31 May 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Membrane filtration has become a key technology for many environmental and industrial applications. Yet in spite of several cleaning options at hand, fouling phenomena such as cake layer formation and pore blocking still limit its performance. The objective of this project is to overcome these limits by developing, a high frequency back-pulsing device, integrating it into membrane filtration systems and transferring the knowledge gained to new, more competitive products and services offered by the SMEs involved. The key feature of the innovative back-pulse concept is a valve-less construction providing short response times, defined pulse shape and efficient membrane cleaning at minimal back-pulse flow. Selected membranes (polymeric and ceramic) and modules (capillary and flat sheet) will be tested. The integration of pulsing device and module is essential for successful scale up. It has to take into account inertia, viscosity and elasticity effects and gets prime attention in a dynamic modelling approach. The applications to be investigated range from the treatment of liquid residues of biomass-based power generation to treatment and reuse of process fluids and wastewater, including membrane bioreactor applications. The project addresses all critical points along the value chain from membrane supply to end-use. Its outputs include insight into the hydrodynamics of high frequency back-pulsing, novel back-pulsing devices, adapted membrane/module configurations and new applications for a new technique. The consortium includes 2 RTD partners focussing on technology (VITO), modelling (RWTH) and testing (FHNW), 4 SMEs manufacturing back-pulsing devices (Pirmatech), ceramic membranes (ATECH), polymeric membranes and filtration systems (Inge, A3), 1 SME as system integrator (Waterleau), 2 SME end-users (Agroservice, Bio-Energy Maasland) and one large end-user for demonstration (WSHD).
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