Membrane Filtration Systems

The Membrane Centre has a suite of filtration apparatus available across the full range of membrane materials, system design, operation type and size. These include:

Simple Bench Scale Filtration Units
The Centre operates over a dozen small scale filtration units which are either manual or semi-automatic in operation and include automated data capture. The units range from 5 – 25 cm2 with module designs able to accommodate flatsheet, hollow fibre and tubular membranes. Modules used include custom in-house units as well as off the shelf modules such as those supplied by Sterlitech and GE Osmonics.

These units are primarily used for fundamental research activities and membrane performance characterisation.

Custom built submerged MBR unit with multiple membrane cells

Single hollow fibre unit, with attached microscope 


Fully Automated Pilot Units
The centre has two (a single cell and a dual cell) fully automated bench scale rigs for use with flat sheet membranes for high pressure operation (Nanofiltration and Reverse Osmosis). The dual-cell unit has two module units which can be operated completely independently or together to provide comparative data. The rig also has the provision for bio-fouling experiments by injection bacteria. Both of these rig are PLC controlled and uses a Cimplicity HMI/Scada for monitoring and control.

 Automated dual-cell high pressure pilot unit

 SCADA monitoring system for dual-cell unit

Other units include a tubular ceramic ultrafiltration pilot unit with built-in Labview control system for operation and monitoring whilst on-site, and a automated pilot submerged MBR unit currently operating on-site at a wastewater treatment facility managed by Sydney Water.

  Custom tubular ceramic ultrafiltration unit  Pilot MBR Unit

Gas Permeation Unit
This small scale test unit is used to measure permeation properties of the Centre’s newly developed hollow fibre materials. This high pressure setup uses the variable pressure method which allows for the straightforward determination of membrane permeability and selectivity over a wide range of feed pressure and composition. Permeation testing can be conducted with either pure gas or mixed gases.