DescriptionTubular membrane modules are tube-like structures with porous walls. Tubular modules work through tangential cross-flow, and are generally used to process difficult feed streams such as those with high dissolved solids, high suspended solids, and/or oil, grease, or fats.
How it worksTubular modules consist of a minimum of two tubes; the inner tube, called the membrane tube, and the outer tube, which is the shell. The feed stream goes across the length of the membrane tube and is filtered out into the outer shell while concentrate collects at the opposite end of the membrane tube.
DisadvantagesLow packing density and large size are disadvantages of tubular modules. Packing density of tubular modules is higher than plate and frame systems but lower than capillary, hollow fiber, and spiral wound elements. Because of the large inner diameter of the tubular modules, flow requirements are higher than those of other system configurations.
AdvantagesTubular systems have less fouling compared to plate and frame systems, and a similar amount of fouling when compared to spiral and capillary. Tubular systems allow for robust cleaning methods such as the use of harsh chemicals, backwash, and even mechanical cleaning which might not be available for other system configurations.
- Definition of a Membrane
- Membrane Materials: Organic vs. Inorganic
- Pressure-Driven Membrane Filtration Processes
- Concentration Polarization in Pressure-Driven Processes
- Degrees of Membrane Separation
- Flux Behavior in Membrane Processes