Industrial Reverse Osmosis Membrane Cleaning

On and Off-Site Membrane Cleaning Services

Virtually all of the major membrane manufacturers agree on the following statements:

  1. Reverse Osmosis membranes should be cleaned when normalized flow decreases by 10% from the initial acceptance test conditions.
  2. Reverse Osmosis membranes should be cleaned when the overall pressure drop increases by 15% over the initial acceptance test conditions.
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These two simple, explicit statements often go ignored, despite the fact that it has been demonstrated that the optimum cleaning response is achieved when these guidelines are followed. It can be difficult to recover performance if the system operates in a fouled condition for an extended period of time. Operating in a fouled condition can also cause irreversible damage to the Reverse Osmosis Membrane, which would require costly replacements if left unchecked.

Some problems can occur with improper usage of the CIP system (clean in place) or perhaps it is not having the right cleaning materials. There are plenty of options when it comes to cleaning your Reverse Osmosis membranes. The best way is determined by analyzing your water and your system operations.

A cleaning can be performed at just the right time, flow, and temperature, and it can still fail if the chemistry applied is not appropriate for the specific foulant. For that reason, it is wise to spend some time before a cleaning is needed to determine your most likely foulants.

For example, increased pressure drops in the first stage indicate colloidal fouling from either organics or inorganics in a system, and it can also indicate bacterial fouling. This type of fouling tends to benefit from a low pH soak followed by an alkaline cleaning. If the final stage pressure drops are elevated, it is an indication of mineral deposition. To properly address this type of fouling, it is necessary to know what minerals are most likely to deposit. System projections or antiscalant projections can be useful here, as can a new mineral analysis on both the feed and concentrate. These types of deposits may require low-pH cleaners for carbonate scales or alkaline chelant cleaners for sulfate scales.

Many Industrial Reverse Osmosis Systems are equipped with a CIP or Clean in Place system. This will allow you the ability to clean your Reverse Osmosis system onsite. If your system is not equipped with a CIP System Complete Water Solutions can provide and install a system that will work with your existing Industrial RO System.

Commonly Asked Questions About RO

Complete Water Solutions Provides Off-Site Membrane Cleaning Services

In the lean environment, it is frequently becoming more cost-effective to remove Reverse Osmosis membranes and ship them offsite for foulant removal than it is to perform a CIP. Besides sometimes being more cost-effective and less time-consuming, there are additional benefits.

Don’t wait until it’s too late!

This is what happens when you wait too long – Below is a picture of a GE AK4040 AK90 Membrane that was in service for far too long without cleaning. This membrane is no longer serviceable and will need to be replaced. Don’t wait too long before your reverse osmosis membranes are cleaned!

ro membrane cleaning, before and after membrane cleaning, complete water solutions
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No Chemicals Handled or Stored On-Site:

Since the membranes are cleaned off-site, there are no chemical risks associated with cleaning the membranes.

More Time:

Cleaning membranes off-site allows for more time to soak membranes or clean them multiple times to ensure the removal of hard to clean foulants.

Membrane Replacement Savings:

By cleaning off-site we are able to identify the bad membranes individually and allow you the opportunity to replace them if needed. This can be massive cost savings vs replacing all the membranes in a housing or machine due to bad / failed water quality.

Visual Inspection:

By removing the membranes we are able to visually inspect the housings and membranes to determine if there are any additional problems that could be future failures or quality issues.

Customized Cleaning:

By logging serial numbers of membranes and the housings they came from, and having a complete water analysis completed, we can help come up with a customized cleaning program that will help ensure a successful cleaning.

Industrial Reverse Osmosis Parts:

Complete Water Solutions carries a wide array of RO parts in stock. Many we are able to offer with same or next day shipping! We even carry some obsolete parts in stock, so no matter what your needs are give us a call or email today to see if we have it.

  • Reverse Osmosis Pumps
  • Reverse Osmosis Membrane Cleaning Chemicals
  • Reverse Osmosis Membranes (All Major Brands)
  • Pre-Filters (Cartridge, Bag Filters)
  • UF Modules
  • Solenoid Valves
  • Conductivity Probes
  • pH Probes
  • Flow Meters (Signet, Osmonics, Rotameters)
  • Sample Ports
  • Butterfly Valves
  • UV Bulbs, Sleeves, Orings, Ballast
  • End Cap Orings & Snap Rings
  • Interconnectors
  • Membrane Brine Seals
  • End Cap Adapters
  • Pressure Gauges
  • PLC & Controllers
  • Motor Starters

Industrial Reverse Osmosis Membrane Autopsy

Complete Water Solutions provides a range of services specifically designed to identify the causes of membrane failure in Industrial Reverse Osmosis, Nanofiltration and Ultrafiltration Systems. Complete Water Solutions can provide three levels of autopsy services depending on the nature of the problem and the level of detail you require:

Level 1
Deposit / Foulant Identification

Level 2
Deposit / Foulant Identification Membrane Characterization – Salt Rejection & Flux Oxidation and Integrity Testing

Level 3
Deposit / Foulant Identification Membrane Characterization – Salt Rejection & Flux Oxidation And Integrity Testing Cleaning Test – Identification of optimum cleaning chemical, dosage, contact time, and pH for foulant removal.
Complete Water Solutions team can also carry out plant audits and provide onsite cleaning and troubleshooting assistance.

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