RO Membrane Cleaning – Membranes lie at the heart of any Reverse Osmosis System, it is therefore essential that the membranes are maintained in a good clean condition and this should be considered to be an important part of any Reverse Osmosis maintenance program. Effective cleaning usually requires some knowledge of the type the cleaning options available.
Foulants on the RO membrane surface can cause flux loss (permeate flow), an increase in differential pressure, higher product water conductivity, a need for increased feed pressure to maintain output or a combination of these effects.
When to clean an RO membrane?
It is necessary to execute the CIP System on RO membranes at an early stage of fouling. It is often difficult to clean excessively fouled membranes and irreversible damage may occur during the cleaning process. Cleaning with a suitable RC membrane cleaner is strongly recommended when one or more of the following parameters change by 10 – 15%, after data normalization:
- An increase in product water conductivity or salt passage.
- An increase in pressure drop across the plant.
- An increase in feed pressure.
- A decrease in normalized permeate flow (NPF) output or flux.
If any of the above performance parameters deteriorates by more than 30%, it may be impossible to recover plant performance by routine cleaning practices using a suitable RO Membrane Cleaner.
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