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03-20-2012

More Rugged, More Stable

Hollow fibers of polyester

Hollow fibers of polyester

Mann + Hummel GmbH, Ludwigsburg, Germany, is expanding its product portfolio for water treatment by using hollow fibers of polyether sulfone (PES). The PES membranes are designed to tap into new applications that impose higher requirements on temperature and chemical resistance. According to the manufacturer, the possibility of steam sterilization opens up scope for use in the food, beverages and biotechnology industries.

The walls of the PES hollow fibers are semi-permeable, acting as a membrane for microfiltration and ultrafiltration. This gives rise to a mechanical separation process. Microscopic contaminants flow with the water into the pores of the PES fibers. Key parameters are therefore the pore size of the fibers and the size of the molecules to be separated. PES membranes for microfiltration offer pore sizes of 100 to 200 nm while those for ultrafiltration have pore sizes of 10 to 20 nm.

In the field of beverages and biotechnology, fouling by the filtered substances is common. This is counteracted by the flow geometry in the hollow PES fibers. This is designed to generate high-speed cross-flow along the membrane so that the deposited material is reliably entrained. The PES membrane, in combination with an optimized flow geometry and a new module design, offers a longer life time under conventional and extreme operating conditions.

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