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Membrane Processes

  1. Shankararaman Chellam

Published Online: 27 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118522318.emst075

Encyclopedia of Membrane Science and Technology

Encyclopedia of Membrane Science and Technology

How to Cite

Chellam, S. 2013. Microfiltration. Encyclopedia of Membrane Science and Technology. 1–21.

Author Information

  1. University of Houston, Houston, TX

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 SEP 2013


Microfiltration (MF) and ultrafiltration are popular in drinking water and wastewater treatment because integral membranes are absolute barriers for difficult-to-inactivate pathogenic protozoa, and the turbidity of membrane-filtered water is well below current and anticipated regulations. The focus of this section is to provide a broad overview of MF from an environmental engineering viewpoint, including its capabilities and limitations, as it pertains to water and wastewater treatment, configuration and field testing of commercially available systems before full-scale implementation, and mechanisms and control of fouling. Other industrial applications of microfiltration are also briefly discussed. Constant pressure and constant flux blocking laws to predict fouling mechanisms during dead-end MF are briefly summarized. The use of chemical coagulation and electrochemical pretreatment to improve MF performance in terms of both fouling and filtered water quality (with respect to natural organic matter, disinfection by-product precursors, and viruses) is also discussed.


  • microfiltration;
  • fouling;
  • pretreatment;
  • pilot testing;
  • water treatment;
  • NOM removal;
  • virus