Articles & Case Studies

Membrane filtration: flexible pump performance contributes to wide operating range of pilot plant

Posted: Thursday 5th August 2010

A versatile mobile membrane filtration pilot plant developed by hygienic fabrication specialist Axium Process is helping customers run process evaluation trials across a wide spectrum of membrane technology. It enables trials to be carried out (on customer sites or at Axium’s Swansea facility) on process and waste stream applications utilising microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis membrane technologies.

In designing for a wide range of application, Axium had to ensure that the performance of its pilot plant was not only reliable and accurate but also flexible. As a major dynamic component in the plant, the performance of the pump would be specially critical.

To meet these requirements the company chose the Hydra-Cell G10 – a pump of seal-less design manufactured by Wanner Engineering.

“We chose the Hydra-Cell pump for our reverse osmosis trials plant,” explains projects manager Steve Birkin, “as we needed a pump that was able to give us a positive flow but operating at a range of pressures by using a variable speed drive or inverter, enabling us to run tests under different conditions for a variety of customer trials.

“As we use the plant for nanofiltration as well as reverse osmosis, the ability to operate at 15 bar to 60 bar is essential. We also needed stainless steel wetted parts and as pulse-free an operation as we could get.”

Smooth delivery and low pulsation are characteristics of the Hydra-Cell, with pumping action achieved through the sequential flexing of 3 hydraulically balanced diaphragms. The diaphragms also isolate liquid media from the drive end of the pump, allowing it to handle many different types of liquid (hot or cold) including acids, caustics, thin non-lubricants, slurries, and liquids containing abrasive solids

There are no dynamic seals in the Hydra-Cell pump. Mechanical seal wear – the most common reason for loss of performance in piston, gear and other seal-reliant pd pumps – is eliminated, so accuracy is consistently maintained.

Axium’s pilot plant range is in frequent demand for filtration trials by customers in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries.

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