Industrial filtration is an essential part of the water treatment process. Factories and other small commercial facilities like schools release different kinds of contaminants into their wastewater streams. Due to high amounts of solid particles in these systems, pre-filtration becomes integral in the application.
Wastewater usually goes through several steps in the treatment process to ensure the water produced meets the reuse standard in place. Including filtration in the application reduces operation cost on downstream polishing in a wastewater treatment system. That’s because the process eliminates any wastes that the downstream couldn’t remove effectively.
Reduces Suspended Solids
The essence of filtration in the water treatment process is to reduce the concentration of solid particles and turbidity at the initial stages. Industries like oil and gas, pulp, and textiles produce vast amounts of solid wastes that may be too much for a single treatment application. Adding filtration in the process helps to eliminate some of the wastes from the source to increase the effectiveness of the system. Industrial filtration lightens the load on downstream systems, hence maximizing operation.
Eliminates Contaminants at Initial Stages
Industrial filtration reduces solid suspensions and eliminates contaminants such as metal wastes, ammonia, and volatile organic compounds. Depending on the filtration method, the system should be able to remove one or all of these pollutants. Eliminating these contaminants at the source improves the efficiency of downstream polishing in a wastewater treatment system.
Improves Water Treatment Efficiency
While filtration isn’t a significant step in the application, it improves the overall efficiency of the treatment process. Downstream polishing is more effective when the concentration of contaminants is low in the system. Industrial filtration acts as a pre-treatment to alleviate waste concentration, thereby improving the effectiveness of polishing in other stages of the water treatment process.
Lowers Maintenance Cost
A high concentration of solid suspensions and contaminants cause water treatment equipment to over-work, leading to a breakdown. That means the machines will need regular maintenance, which is costly. Through industrial filtration, these wastes can be eliminated before the treatment process begins. Therefore, the equipment is left with only a few residues to handle, lowering the overall cost of maintenance.
Types of Filtration Systems
The type of filtration determines the efficiency of the system. There are three major types of industrial filtration: physical (also known as centrifugal system), chemical, and a combination of the two. Let’s discuss them below.
This process is entirely mechanical. It involves rotating the liquid in a centrifuge at high speeds to force out solid particles. A filter chamber in the centrifuge prevents solid particles from mixing with the filtered water. A centrifugal system eliminates higher solid suspensions, which makes it ideal pre-treatment for turbidity and total suspended solids in industrial applications.
Chemical Filtration Systems
Chemical filtration removes dissolved particles through activated carbon, resins, and other absorbents. It not only removes solid suspensions but also filters out organic and chemical compounds. However, it’s not as efficient as centrifugal filtration when it comes to removing higher suspended solid loads.
Centrifugal and Chemical Systems Combined
Some filtration media combine physical and chemical systems for higher efficiency. Depending on the type of contaminant to be removed, the filters can either use sand, activated carbon, anthracite, or zeolites. This filtration media eliminates solid suspensions as well as chemical and organic pollutants.
Industrial filtration is an essential step in the water treatment process. Not only does it help to reduce the solid loads, but it also removes contaminants that may lower the efficiency of the system. Therefore, filtration should be a pre-treatment process in both industrial and small scale wastewater treatment.