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Advantages and Disadvantages of Membrane Filtration Processes




Flexible; can be used in the separation, concentration and purification of a huge variety of materials across a wide range industries.


Microfiltration; Microfiltration and ultrafiltration processes can operate as highly efficient "sieves", capable of fractionating particle species according to size.


No phase changes involved, both feed and product streams remain in the liquid form.


The processes can function effectively at low temperatures.


Energy requirements are low.


Processes are relatively simple to scale up.


Membranes can be manufactured in a uniform and highly precise manner.




The processes are prone to membrane fouling effects which lead to decrease in permeate flux. Expensive cleaning and regeneration schemes may be necessary.


The high flow rates used in cross-flow feed can damage shear sensitive materials.


Equipment cost can be high.


If the membrane manufacturing process is not precisely controlled, membranes with wide pore size distribution may result, giving poor separation performance.

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  • Bruce Gao
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