Membrane material advancements could mean safer water
June 5, 2009
Many conventional mechanical wastewater treatment plants
rely upon aeration systems to add oxygen to the water, enhancing the aerobic digestion of sludge and resulting in safer effluent to be returned to rivers and streams. In the past, many wastewater aeration diffusers
were made of ceramic, which required extremely labor-intensive and often dangerous cleaning, using lots of chlorine gas in addition to hand-scrubbing. EPDM rubber membranes have emerged as a vastly more efficient and fouling-resistant alternative to ceramics. The switch to EPDM membranes has saved huge amounts of cleaning labor in many plants. But even further improvements are possible. Take, for instance, the introduction of a special material called fEPDM. Developed in 2007 and launched only last year, fEPDM membranes are now being shown in testing to retain substantially more of its plasticizer content
than other membrane materials. This means that the diffuser is likely to last measurably longer -- with even less fouling -- than its standard EPDM cousins. In the end, better-performing, cleaner, and longer-lasting diffusers result in better wastewater treatment, which in turn means safer water for everyone.
last revised June 2009