Nano Filtration/Reverse Osmosis Pilot Plant

Nano Filtration/Reverse Osmosis Pilot Plant

The nano-filtration/reverse osmosis (NF/RO) 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:

The key features are:

  • Choice of either 2540 (2.5” diameter) or 4040 (4” diameter) high pressure stainless steel housings to take standard industrial sized spiral wound 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 10 litres on 4x40 spiral wound membrane).
  • Designed to run at up to 50°C and 40 bar pressure.
  • Single unit three phase 3kw pump with maximum flow of 1400l/hr and 40 bar pressure.
  • Simple operation through integrated control panel with digital flow, temperature and pressure sensors.
  • Data capture capability through separate data logger.
  • 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 NF/RO applications currently used in industry are shown below:

Mode Application Permeate Concentrate
RO Industrial water recycling RO water Dirty water (waste product)
  Thin sugar solutions Clean water for recycling Concentrated sugars
  Dyeing & pulp & paper effluent Clean water BOD, salt, chemicals, waste products
  Platform chemical production Clean water Concentrated product
  Water Low salinity water Salty water
  Whey Low BOD permeate Whey concentrate
NF Sugar purification Clarified sugars Waste product
  Hard water Soft water Concentrated divalent salts
  Edible oils Degummed oils Waste product
  Antibiotics/ pharmaceuticals Salty waste Desalted product, concentrated antibiotics
  Platform chemical production Clarified product Concentrated waste/ alternative product
  Dyeing effluent Clean, salty water BOD/COD, colour
  Tainted water Removal of odours, taste softened water Waste product
  Whey Salty waste water Desalted whey concentrate
  Whey Lactose solution Whey protein concentrate