Limit Fouling

Aqua Membranes is revolutionizing membrane filtration with its unique and patented 3D spacer technology that dramatically improves the efficiency of spiral wound membranes, minimizes fouling potential and reduces long-term operational costs.

Unlike traditional membrane spacers that trap particles and biofilm within the spacer mesh and thereby obstructing flow, our innovative 3D-printed spacers can be optimized for maximum flux through the membrane element, minimizing the entrapment of particulates while enabling up to twice as much membranes surface within a spiral-wound module.

Spiral-Wound Element with Conventional Feed Spacer

Spiral-Wound Element with Aqua Membranes 3D Printed Spacer Technology

In an industry where membrane filtration has become commoditized and very little innovation has been introduced in the past 40 years, Aqua Membranes has developed a technology that can be optimized for more flow, lower fouling, or lower overall system cost, or combinations thereof.

For decades, membrane element companies have been changing the feed spacer designs to limit element fouling and process separations.  However, the options are limited because the mesh spacer needs to be a stand-alone structure which can be extruded.  Spacer material that is printed directly on the membrane surface does not have this limitation.  The spacer shape, height, angle to the flow and print density can all be customized to any application.  This design flexibility offers many benefits:

  • Internal and external testing has shown higher recoveries are possible with the printed spacers due to the open pattern design
  • Fouling rates can be decreased by customizing patterns for specific applications
  • On average, printed spacer patterns are more open than mesh material which leads to more effective cleaning cycles
  • On most applications the printed spacer is only applied to one of the two membrane surfaces in the flow channel. This reduces the total gap between the membrane surface and increases the flow velocity and this in turn can reduce fouling