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Water Treatment

Innovative Water Treatment with RO and IX Separation Technology

| Author / Editor: DR JENS LIPNIZKI, BERYN ADAMS; DR MOTOHIRO OKAZAKI; KEDAR OKE / Dominik Stephan

The membrane separation composite layer is the most essential part of the RO separation process. Before use, this critical component is assembled into a device, called an RO element. The winding process for spiral wound RO elements involves many steps all of which need to be carefully controlled.

The company’s manufacturing process involves state-of-theart robotic equipment to carefully prepare the RO element to exacting mechanical specifications. Much of this development was conducted with the assistance of outside institutes who applied modern computer aided design capabilities to confirm mechanical strength and optimize hydrodynamic design (see Figure 2

Figure 2: Stress test on the Anti telescoping device (ATD) and permeate tube
Figure 2: Stress test on the Anti telescoping device (ATD) and permeate tube (Picture: Lanxess)

). This kind of critical development process was necessary to assemble the improved membrane chemistry into a modern RO element.

Innovation Put to the Test

The first field tests of the new Lewabrane RO B400HR elements started in January 2012. The elements were placed in an existing RO plant, which is treating 40m3/hr of Rhine river six elements were installed in a pressure vessel. The RO system also contained several pressure vessels with RO elements from another supplier. These elements were installed approximately one year prior, and were operated in parallel to the Lewabrane pressure vessel.

Field Test in German Water Treatment Plant at the Rhine River

The entire RO system was operated in a two stage system with a 6:3 array using six element pressure vessels. In comparison with the installed elements from another supplier, it could be shown that the Lewabrane elements provided a flux value in the same order of magnitude.

The TOC and silica rejection were measured periodically during field testing. The TOC rejection was measured at approx 95-96 per cent, and the rejection of the total silica was measured at approx 99.3 per cent. In conclusion, it was demonstrated that the new Lewabrane RO membrane element performs in a similar manner under the same operating conditions.

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