Ultrafiltration Membrane System Minimizes Operator Involvement, Handles Fluctuating Feed Water Quality

Rendering of an AltaPac ultrafiltration skid

Packaged ultrafiltration membrane systems like WesTech’s AltaPac™ system are more flexible and accommodating of a site’s specific needs than one might think upon hearing the term “packaged.”

One particular East Coast site learned this first-hand, when they came to WesTech looking for a solution for treating a surface water source. The manufacturing company that owned the site wanted to use the water for cleaning their industrial process equipment, as well as pre-treating a portion of the water for a reverse osmosis unit.

The company had other sites with the same process. But their existing treatment approach (media filtration) presented complications including significant maintenance, media replacement costs, and concerns with operator turnover, so they were investigating alternatives. In fact, they were conducting an in-depth study of different technologies that could be used for this application.

There were several important factors under consideration during the study, including:

  • Could the solutions being evaluated handle seasonal fluctuations of feed water quality?
  • Could they minimize operator involvement?
  • Could they reduce the required footprint and operational costs?

WesTech worked closely with the company’s engineering team to demonstrate that a modified version of our AltaPac ultrafiltration membrane package system could meet all those requirements, and more.

AltaPac standard
A 6-module AltaPac skid.

As it turned out, meeting the third requirement didn’t require any modification on WesTech’s part. The original AltaPac packaged ultrafiltration (UF) plant already includes an integral cleaning system, which reduces the overall footprint.

To allow for a lower flux rate through the membranes in order to accommodate difficult water sources, the modified system design that WesTech developed for this customer has a module capacity of 18. (The AltaPac’s standard module capacity is 12.)

The new, 18-module AltaPac excels at accommodating tough waters at low flows. In addition to allowing for a lower average flux rate, adding modules also extends module life and decreases maintenance costs.

Upon learning the details of this customer’s unique operational requirements, WesTech was able to customize the program for the PLC panels with storage sequences and fully integrate the WesTech equipment with the plant’s existing controls system.

In addition to meeting the core requirements of the project, WesTech provided the laboratory work, equipment, and the controls narrative for the pre-treatment process.

The customer recognized the cost-effectiveness and versatility of the AltaPac UF system and awarded the project to WesTech. The startup of the UF equipment was successfully completed in late 2016, along with a site visit during which WesTech described the process and technology in-depth to the owner and operators.

Wondering if WesTech can help improve your industrial treatment processes? We’d be happy to suggest some potential solutions. Please provide project details via our Contact Us form.

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