Module Design and Membrane Configurations
This chapter provides a more general discussion of the relative advantages and disadvantages of the different module configurations that are available for applications of ultrafiltration and microfiltration. It focuses on the general concepts, key design requirements, and basic operating features of the different types of modules. The chapter examines the available commercial membrane modules can be conveniently classified into five distinct types: hollow fiber, tubular, flat plate, spiral wound, and vortex flow. There are also a number of different module designs used in dead-end filtration applications. Most devices are highly susceptible to fouling when operated in the dead-ended mode, and they can be very difficult to clean due to the extensive plugging of the narrow fibers/ channels. Many of the newer flat plate designs use net-like feed-side spacers to improve the mass transfer characteristics of the device. The rate of mass transfer in the rotating systems is determined entirely by the rate of rotation of the inner cylinder.