Ultrafiltration (UF) is a pressure-driver purification process that separates particulate matter from soluble compounds using an ultrafine membrane media.
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In ultrafiltration, water and low-molecular-weight substances are passed through an ultrafine membrane by the application of pressure to the system; flow through the membrane is achieved by applying a pressure gradient between the outer and inner walls of the membrane structure. Feed pressure is from 4 to 100 psig (typically < 30) and transmembrane pressure is generally <14 psig.
When used as a pretreatment for reverse osmosis (RO), UF also helps reduce fouling of the RO membranes, which can lead to: