Ultrafiltration 101: Processes, Uses, Costs, and Effectiveness
So we bought a UF-3 Ultra Filtration System. One of the reasons was as well as removing the nasties it also reduces particulates, sand, silt sediment and rust in the water.
Only 1% of the water in the world is drinkable, let’s use ultrafiltration to make more drinking water
Ultrafiltration is the technical term to describe the technology of filtering water through a process that’s similar to reverse osmosis. It is commonly dubbed as the membrane filtration. The technique uses hydrostatic force to propel tiny particles out the water. The particles are collected in the semipermeable membrane that has a tiny pore size of 103 – 106 Daltons. That’s how it filters and frees the water off any suspended solid particle, bacteria, toxic elements, virus or other disease-carrying pathogens. The water thus obtained is highly pure and very low in terms of density of silt.
Ultrafiltration is conducted through multiple membranes that stop the suspended solid particles with a high molecular weight from passing through them. These particles can otherwise penetrate any other membrane meant for filtration. As global citizens, we are facing a definite drinking water crisis in this Millenium. It is that time when filtration processes like ultrafiltration can make a massive impact in making undrinkable water drinkable. This technology is a state of the art invention that can transform living conditions. It is not just a working method but also a cost-effective one. We will look into the more beautiful aspects of it in the following sections.
How Does Ultrafiltration Work?
Ultrafiltration is quite a complicated process in comparison to other popular water filtration processes. We will put it in simple, layman terms so that you get a clear picture of how ultrafiltration works. We will also explain why it should be prioritized over other water filtration techniques.
How Ultrafiltration Works, What Are The Uses?
There are various processes of filtration that works based on the size of the particles that they have to filter. We will first compare the size of the solid particles that need to be filtered from our water with some regular items that we see every day. Beach sand is the most massive particle measuring up to 1000.0 microns. Human hair, mixed flour and bacteria measures up to 100.0 microns, 10.0 microns, and 1.0 microns respectively. To filter a particle in range of 1000.0 to 1.0 micron, the conventional particle filtration process is enough. For the range of 0.1 to 1.0 micron, we need microfiltration. For further smaller particle filtration of 0.01 to 0.1 micron that comprises of virus and carbon black, ultrafiltration is required.
A range of varying sizes of pores is used in the filter to cater to a multitude of requirements of water. Ultrafiltration ensures that all unwanted particles are left behind and the water is still rich in minerals. In many plants, ultrafiltration takes place to support the process of reverse osmosis, which is an advanced stage of water filtration.
What Is The Actual Process?
Let me elaborate on the actual process in a hopefully easy to follow way. Our Watts Premier 531130 Filter-Pure UF-3 3-Stage Water Filtration System – WQA Certified is a wonderful product. This is why we like this and how it works.
How Does The Ultrafiltration Membrane Work?
In a nutshell, hydrostatic pressure is artificially induced onto the water to propel and separate solid particles such as bacteria, sand, virus and other waste from it. The waster particles stick to the outer surface of the semipermeable membrane, which has the right pore size of passing particles below the molecular weight of 1000 to 500,000 daltons. Thus, the water passing through the membrane is purified while preserving the minerals which are usually of a much smaller size.
How Effective Is It To Get Cleaner, Drinking Water?
Ultrafiltration is a proven technique of obtaining clean drinking water. Besides, it keeps the mineral count intact as well. It can effectively remove all waste particles, undesirable taste or odors, rust, pesticide, crypto, chlorine, benzene, and bacteria. Ultrafiltration can also remove some of the harmful elements like mercury, lead, copper, chloride, and algae, thereby making the water perfectly clean to drink. However, not being able to remove arsenic, fluoride, nitrates, salts, and sulfates counts as limitations. Therefore, this technique is not a completely foolproof system for water filtration, especially in areas where the water contains arsenic, fluorides, or aqueous salts. Nevertheless, most of the US is free from such particles; ultrafiltration is an amazingly effective option of obtaining clean drinking water in industries as well as households. It might still be a doubtful technology in third world countries.
Comparison With Reverse Osmosis And Distilled Water
Refer to the size chart we have mentioned in previous sections about the filtrate particles. Beyond the size of ultrafiltrates is the size range of 0.001 to 0.01, which comprises of a variety of viruses and metal ions. We use nanofiltration technology to cleanse these particles. Even more, the size of the filtrates that goes even below the nano range are the tiniest particles in the universe, such as aqueous salts, metal ions, or atomic radius. The process of reverse osmosis helps take care of these smallest of particles. In effect, reverse osmosis gives the purest form of water that can be drunk without any worry.
Another simplified water purification process to note is distillation. The only difference between ultrafiltered water and distilled water is that the distilled water has gone through the process of distillation while the process of ultrafiltration only filters the water. Distillation is a process where the water is heated, and the vapor is held and collected as the purest form of water. Distilled water is the purest forms of water has no specific taste. Ultrafiltration, on the other hand, doesn’t even affect the taste of the water.
In this age and era, when the whole world is facing up to an intimidating water crisis, filtration processes like ultrafiltration can help initiate a change. We can even convert the salty seawater into drinkable and potable water. Countries investing in and adopting such technologies can be seen as a welcome change. Buying a Watts Premier 531130 can save over 2,500 half litre bottles going in to landfills per filter change out.
But as of now, we Americans are the only ones to cash it in. We will hopefully make the most of it and be a model state for the rest of the world to follow. The United States has always been the pioneers in massive environmental and technological shifts. With ultrafiltration membrane technology, solving the global water crisis is a real prospect. Checking your water using test meters is important, as you want to ensure you’re consuming healthy water.