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MBRs and Membranes for Industrial Water Reuse in California

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Over the last few years, membranes have become the preferred treatment technology in municipal water and wastewater treatment. However, industrial treatment processes have continued to rely on conventional techniques. With recent improvements in membrane technologies, and with more stringent discharge requirements for industrial systems, membranes are becoming the preferred treatment technology for industrial processes as well.

Common applications for using membranes in industrial treatment systems include:

Secondary treatment, using Membrane Bio-Reactors (MBR), where BOD and TSS limits are being reduced.


Tertiary treatment, using low pressure membranes (e.g. Microfiltration), where the effluent is being reused.


Tertiary treatment, using high pressure membranes (e.g. Nanofiltration, Reverse Osmosis [RO]), when Total Dissolved Solids, metals, and emerging contaminants must be removed to meet tighter discharge requirements.


Most industrial wastewater streams contain higher organic loads, measured in thousands of mg/l BOD and COD, than municipal streams. Also, many industrial streams have high concentrations of TDS. Finally, peaking factors for industrial streams tend to be much higher than for municipal streams. These factors make industrial treatment systems challenging to design.

This presentation provides information on how membranes have been or will be used in several industrial applications to achieve treatment targets throughout California.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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