A physical filtration process, Ultrafiltration (UF), is the one in which water is pushed through a semipermeable membrane using home water pressure to remove particles greater in size than the pore size of the membrane.
The ultrafiltration membrane is made up of hollow fibers having pores that range from 0.01 to 0.1 microns. The membrane is made of a material that is thousands of times smaller in size in comparison to human hair.
As water passes through the membrane, the membrane’s surface holds onto the particles that are larger than the pore size. Beneficial and water minerals having smaller sizes as compared to the pore size are capable of passing through and becoming potable water.
The ultrafiltration membrane has the advantage of not removing all dissolved minerals. Viewing this as a benefit, if the level of TDS in your home water is adequate, a portion of the minerals retained is considered good for our health. However, if the TDS level of the source water is high, this will be a disadvantage, as too much TDS would have a significant impact on the water’s taste. So, before purchasing a UF system, make sure your home water has a low TDS level.
The US proposed that the TDS level should be maximum 500 mg/L, according to the findings of a study by the US, Canada, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the European Community (EC).
What types of contaminants are removed by the UF membrane?
The reduction of chlorine taste, rust, odor, sediment, benzene, bacteria, and crypto can be effectively carried out by the UF membrane; it can also cause a reduction in algae, chloride, copper, lead, and mercury to a lesser extent, without having an impact on chemicals or TDS.
UF membrane frequently asked questions
Is there a need for electricity in ultrafiltration?
Ultrafiltration can work effectively with standard home water pressure. In contrast, reverse osmosis filtration requires a pump for pushing the water across the membrane by increasing water pressure. As a result, the majority of the ultrafiltration system operates without the use of electricity.
What’s the difference between ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis?
Physical filtrations such as ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis make use of pressure for forcing water across a semipermeable membrane, blocking impurities that are greater in size than the pore size of the membrane at the membrane’s external surface.
They can be distinguished primarily by the accuracy of their filtration. The ultrafiltration membrane has a 0.01 to 0.1 microns pore size, while the reverse osmosis membrane has a 0.0001 microns pore size. As a result, much finer impurities, such as TDS, could be removed by the RO membrane.
Because of the difference in pore size, RO systems typically require the use of a pump for increasing the pressure, whereas ultrafiltration systems are capable of functioning with standard household water pressure, which helps to explain why almost all RO systems require electricity while UF systems do not.
What is the difference between UV and UF filtration?
UF filters out impurities that are larger than the pore size. UV light only kills microorganisms in water, such as viruses and bacteria.
Various forms of Ultrafiltration systems
Various types of UF filters are available in the market for meeting the needs of different customers, such as the whole house filter. The installation of the whole house filter is done at the entry point from where the water comes into your home. In addition, point-of-use filters such as an under-sink UF water filter and a portable water filter straw are available.
Whole House Ultrafiltration Systems
A point-of-entry water filtration system, whole house ultrafiltration system, is the one that filters water entering the home, as well as the shower head, faucet, and water tube.
Using a UF filter of 0.01-micron, it is possible to remove a variety of contaminants and impurities throughout the dwelling, significantly extending the time of usage of various other filters, faucets and, tubes located downstream.
However, one disadvantage of whole-house systems is that their installation must be done when building the house. Additionally, they are not inexpensive, as the majority of them cost several thousand dollars. Ultrafiltration systems at the point of use, on the other hand, cost only a couple of hundred dollars or less.
Under-sink Ultrafiltration System
Because of their low cost and high filtration performance, under-sink UF membrane filters are well-known among households. For instance, consider the inline under-sink UF water filter and the Waterdrop smart under-sink UF system.
Smart Under-Sink UF System
The smart under-sink filter smart under-sink ultrafiltration system is almost identical to the RO system in terms of appearance. This UF system also accepts multi-stage filters and features a front-panel-mounted smart filter life indicator.
It uses pre-filters made of polypropylene and activated carbon for eliminating almost all of the large eye-catching contaminants in water, such as rust, colloids, sediments, odor and chlorine taste, most of the VCOs and fluoride.
UF membrane filters having a 0.01-micron pore size are then used for filtering the water. This would remove superfine rust, lead, sediments, bacteria, and other heavy metals. This filtered water is then passed through an activated carbon filter for improving the taste, before being directed to a dedicated faucet for cooking, drinking, and other uses at home.
The primary difference existing between a smart UF under-sink system and a modern RO system is the filtration efficiency—the UF filter, as previously mentioned, is unable to remove superfine dissolved minerals from water.
Before selecting a product, it is critical to comprehend the filtration system’s operation. This is the only way you will be able to determine which type of filtration will be best for the water at your home and whether the system is capable of meeting your requirements. I hope you found this article helpful in making a right decision.