There are four generic types of membranes:
- Spiral wound
- Hollow fiber
The plate-and-frame module is the simplest module, consisting of two end plates, the flat sheet membrane, and spacers.
In tubular modules, the membrane is often on the inside of a tube, and the feed solution is pumped through the tube.
Spiral wound membranes have a flat sheet membrane wrapped around a perforated permeate collection tube. The feed flows on one side of the membrane. Permeate is collected on the other side of the membrane and spirals in towards the center collection tube.
Hollow fiber modules consist of bundles of hollow fibers in a pressure vessel. They can have a shell-side feed configuration where the feed passes along the outside of the fibers and exits the fiber ends. Hollow fiber modules can also be used in a bore-side feed configuration where the feed is circulated through the fibers.
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