Membranes with a pore size of 0.1 – 10 µm perform microfiltration. Microfiltration membranes remove all bacteria. Only part of the viral contamination is caught up in the process, even though viruses are smaller than the pores of a microfiltration membrane. This is because viruses can attach themselves to a bacterial biofilm.
Microfiltration can be implemented in many different water treatment processes when particles with a diameter greater than 0.1 mm need to be removed from a liquid.
Examples of Microfiltration applications are:
- Cold sterilisation of beverages and pharmaceuticals
- Clearing of fruit juice, wines and beer
- Separation of bacteria from water (biological wastewater treatment)
- Effluent treatment
- Separation of oil/water emulsions
- Pre-treatment of water for nanofiltration or reverse osmosis