Ultra/Micro Filtration Pilot Plant

Ultra/Micro Filtration Pilot Plant

The Ultra/Micro filtration (UF/MF) rig is a mobile skid housed within the Secondary Processing Laboratory of the BEACON Pilot Plant Facility at IBERS Gogerddan, Aberystwyth. This filtration rig was specifically designed and built for the BEACON project.

Technology summary:

Key features are:

  • Choice of either 2540 (2.5” diameter) or 4040 (4” diameter) spiral wound or tubular industrial sized filtration cartridges giving a filtration surface area up to 7m2.
  • 100 litre feedstock reservoir with ability to link to larger vessel (eg. IBC) if required.
  • Small hold-up volume (approx 8 litres on 4x40 spiral wound membrane).
  • Pump duty of 133 litres/min at 3.0 bar.
  • Simple operation with pump mounted inverter and control and digital inlet pressure transducer.
  • Tri-clamp connectors.

Though large by laboratory standards, the rig is relatively small compared to industrial pilot plants, and as such it is capable of providing a convenient scale-up option for intermediate process development where the feedstock may be limited or of particularly high value. As it has been designed to take commercially available, industrial-sized cartridges of either tubular or spiral wound format it will allow representative flow and flux measurements to be extrapolated to calculate realistic costings for process scale-up.


A typical range of applications for UF/MF continuous membrane filtration currently used in industry are shown below:

Application Permeate Concentrate
Platform chemicals Clarified fermentation broth Waste product/ high value microorganisms
Antibiotics Clarified fermentation broth Waste product
Anaerobic digester waste Clarified liquid for discharge Microbes to be recycled
Enzymes/proteins Waste product High value product
Milk Lactose solution Protein concentrate for cheese production
Oil emulsion Oil free water (<10 ppm) Highly concentrated oil emulsion dirty water (waste product)
Water Clarified water Waste product
Whey Lactose solution Whey protein concentrate
Landfill/waste leachate Clarified water for discharge Waste product