Design and Operation of Membrane Systems in Municipal, Mining and Industrial Applications

IWES, University of Queensland, WaterAid membrane systems

Target Audience

Chemists, engineers, planers and operators involved in water and wastewater treatment using membrane processes. The modules are based on recent case studies and developments in membrane equipment. Numbers will be limited.


A selection of courses on design and operation of membrane plants in a range of applications that can be taken as single days or multi-day modules. Each day is self-contained and offers a practical, problem based approach to design and operation of membrane systems in municipal, industrial and mining applications. (Discounts apply for multi-day enrollment, 3 -5 day registration options available).

Each module (course day) includes a design problem covering water quality, equipment selection and sizing, data collection and interpretation, operating strategies, trouble shooting and cost estimating. Participants will receive detailed notes for each module, including worked solutions and copies of design software for design of ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis and membrane bioreactors. Additional activities include demonstration of membrane repair, membrane module displays and a visit to a full scale membrane plant.

Learning Objectives

Module 1 – Design and operation of membrane bioreactors for wastewater treatment
Comparison of Membrane Bioreactors (MBR) with conventional wastewater treatment
Equipment selection and sizing calculators for MBRs
Essential features of balance of plant; head-works, aeration, solids handling and chemical storage facilities
Operating issues including optimising power consumption and membrane cleaning.

Module 2 – Design and operation of ultrafiltration and microfiltration systems:

Treatment objectives and basic water quality considerations
Equipment selection and sizing calculators for micro-filtration and ultra-filtration systems
Development of capital and operating costs
Operating issues, including membrane cleaning and monitoring membrane integrity and repairing damaged membranes (hands on activity).

Module 3 – Design and operation of reverse osmosis or nano-filtration system:

Treatment objectives in municipal, food, pulp and paper and mining applications
Analysing water quality and using membrane design software for RO and NF
How to size reverse osmosis equipment and develop capital cost estimates
Operating issues: Normalising and interpreting RO system data, understanding membrane fouling and developing cleaning strategies.

Module 4 – Design and operation of membrane processes in sensitive areas and mining applications:

Treatment objectives for mine water, shale gas and coal seam gas applications
How to size equipment including advanced pretreatment including DAF and Ion Exchange
Operating issues and designs solutions for NF/RO in mining/CSG applications including residual brine/salt disposal and controlling silica scaling
Specialist modelling overview for difficult to treat waters particularly mining/CSG water applications
Equipment sizing and cost estimating for evaporators and crystallisers for residual brine/salt disposal.

Module 5 – Techniques for improving and optimising operational Issues: Process optimisation:

Diagnosing and characterising fouling using membrane autopsy techniques
Restoring membrane permeability through cleaning optimisation
Options for reducing power consumption and energy recovery
Developing asset management strategies for membrane plants