Versatile Membranes

IntegraPac UF modules from Dow Water & Process Solutions are designed for high performance, low maintenance, and flexibility to treat varied feedwaters.
Versatile Membranes
IntegraPac systems are modular and can be delivered on an integrated skid for ease of installation.

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Municipal water utilities often turn to membrane filtration for fine particle removal and as a physical barrier against pathogens.

Among the new technology entries to the market are IntegraPac ultrafiltration (UF) modules from Dow Water & Process Solutions. The systems, designed with a small footprint, can be used in a variety of drinking water treatment applications, including groundwater, surface water and seawater, as well as municipal wastewater polishing and industrial wastewater treatment.

The membranes offer a 0.3-micron pore size for removal of bacteria (6 log) and viruses (2.5 log). They include a silt density index (SDI) guarantee of less than 2.5 with proper operation. Tracy Young, global application director for Dow Water & Process Solutions, talked about the systems in an interview with Water System Operator.

wso: For what kinds of drinking water agencies is this technology best suited?

Young: On the municipal side, our UF products are targeted to communities that require removal of Cryptosporidium, Giardia and other pathogens, or that need to meet some of the evolving standards around drinking water, including the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment rules.

wso: Is this technology designed for water utilities of any specific size range?

Young: It’s not designed for any particular size. The IntegraPac system is modular and so has flexibility to be designed for facilities of different sizes.

wso: How much customization goes into these units? To what extent are they tailored to the  site and the feedwater?

Young: They are typically fairly custom. We work closely with customers in terms of looking at their feedwater constraints, the level of treatment they need, the footprint they need to work within, and other factors. We do a design based on what we agree is the right kind of system and approach, and then build that out.

A customer can choose an IntegraPac system in which the integration is already completed. We design an integrated skid that we deliver directly. It takes cost and time out of the process and takes stress out of it for them. Shipping and installation are more efficient — it’s much more of a plug-and-play concept.

wso: What is the exact nature of this membrane?

Young: The system uses a hollow-fiber polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) membrane with outside-in flow. The PVDF material offers strength and chemical and fouling resistance, which extends membrane life. The pore size is very controlled, which enables removal of particulate or pathogens in a very small particle size range. It also allows the system to operate under a pretty broad range of feedwater conditions.

wso: What are the advantages of the outside-in flow configuration?

Young: It accommodates feedwaters higher in TSS, and there are also advantages around operational efficiency. Customers are able to have maximum uptime, versus shutting down more frequently to backwash. That translates directly to savings on chemicals and electricity usage.

wso: What are the treatment capacities of these units?

Young: We offer IP-51, recommended for system capacities of 220 gpm or less, and the IP-77, recommended for system capacities above 220 gpm.

wso: Why is it advantageous for a treatment unit of this kind to be compact?

Young: As municipalities are growing, space is always at a premium. So if they’re looking to expand or grow, they are able to put more of these modules in and get more capacity, more productivity, before they need to look at expanding the plant.

wso: What would be some specific advantages this offering has versus other choices available to today’s customers?

Young: Dow is constantly developing new technologies, and we consistently look beyond our single product. We’re looking at how a product fits an operator’s entire system, so they can have the package that’s most efficient for them. The IntegraPac module, for example, has a pressure rating sufficient for direct feed to reverse osmosis feed pumps. There’s no need for intermediate breakdown tanks or booster pumps, and that means less equipment to maintain.

The IntegraPac skids themselves are built with corrosion-resistant materials and are made to be compatible with standard water-treatment cleaning chemicals. Innovative endcaps are used to allow direct coupling of modules, so there’s no need for piping manifolds.

wso: What does your company do to support customers and the water industry?

Young: We’re deeply involved in product innovation. We’re working to help gain more acceptance for UF in the municipal area. We look globally at the needs of system operators, and we invest significant resources in research and development. As standards around pathogen removal evolve, we’re at the interface, applying good science to develop products that fit today’s applications. We also support customers with a great deal of applications data and regulatory information.


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