"Membrane Separation Apparatus, Membrane Separation Apparatus Operation Method, and Evaluation Method Using the Membrane Separation Apparatus" in Patent Application Approval Process
Patent application serial number 879732 has not been assigned to a company or institution.
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "A membrane separation apparatus has a separation membrane such as a reverse osmosis membrane or an ultrafiltration membrane, and is capable of straining and filtering (membrane-separating) various fluids such as liquids and gases by the membrane separating action of the separation membrane. For example, the use of a reverse osmosis membrane apparatus makes it is possible to desalinate brackish water or seawater to obtain fresh water, or to produce pure water or ultrapure water from water for industrial use (see, for example, Patent Literature 1).
"In such a membrane separation apparatus, organic substances, inorganic substances, bacteria, etc. in the fluid are deposited to form scales or biofilms on the surface of a separation membrane (hereinafter also referred to as a membrane surface) with time. Such deposits foul the membrane surface and may degrade the membrane performance (membrane separating action of the separation membrane). Cleaning of the separation membrane is effective in solving this problem. Conventionally, chemical cleaning using an alkaline solution, etc. or physical cleaning such as reverse cleaning in which a feed fluid is passed in the direction opposite to the fluid flow direction during the operation is performed based on experience, fluid data before and after the membrane separation, etc. In recent years, it has been proposed to provide a small submodule outside an operation system separately from an operation module. The membrane surface state in this submodule is monitored to know the membrane surface state in the operation module without stopping the operation module, and based on this state, the timing of physical cleaning or chemical cleaning of the separation membrane in the operation module is determined (see, for example, Patent Literatures 1 to 3). In such a case as the membrane separating action of the separation membrane in the operation module is not sufficiently recovered by the cleaning of the membrane, the separation membrane is sometimes replaced.
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