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Table 2 provides a comparison of membrane structures. Between these two tables you should get an idea of the operating conditions viz., membrane structural types the driving forces involved in separation, and the separation mechanisms.

Common types of membrane materials used are listed in Table 3. This gets us into the concept of geometry. There are three types of modules generally used, namely: Tubular, Spiral wound, and Hollow fiber. A comparison of the various geometries is given in Table 4.

Table 2. Compares Membrane Structures

Technology

Structure

Driving Force

Mechnism

Microfiltration

Symmetric microporous (0.02 - 10 n

Pressure, 1-5 atm

Sieving

Ultrafiltration

Asymmetric microporous (1 -20 nm)

Pressure, 2-10 atm

Sieving

Nanofiltration

Asymmetric microporous (0.01 - 5 nm)

Pressure, 5 - 50 atm

Sieving

Reverse Osmosis

Asymmetric with homogeneous skin and microporous support

Pressure, 10 -100 atm

Solution diffusion

Electrodialysis

Electrostatically charged membranes (cation and anion)

Electrical potential

Electrostatic diffusion

Table 3. Summary of Common Membrane materials and Their Characteristics

Technology

Membrane Materials

Polar Character

Microfiltration

Polypropylene (PP)

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