top of page

Filter/Membrane Autopsies

In a world where water resources are becoming increasingly more finite, systems that are designed to filter or treat water in an industrial setting are increasingly common. Not only are the benefits of reducing water usage through recycling attractive from a cost savings perspective, but provides more rigorous control of the quality and chemistry of that water. Beyond all of the industrial uses for water filtration and cleaning systems, municipalities and large corporate campuses are feeling increased pressure to generate clean water, which often requires either large scale purification of recycled water, or alternately treatment of ground water, possibly including desalination.


These membrane and filter systems are complex and can rapidly go from high performance to a stand still relatively quickly. Unfortunately, people running these systems can often be left in a quandary when they try and refresh or repair the system. While suppliers or consultants may be able to offer some insight these are likely general pieces of advice based on limited resources for analysis and may not be appropriate to your specific issue. EMSL Analytical offers a comprehensive alternative – performing direct examination and autopsy analysis of membranes from your system in order to give direct readings of problems impacting flux in the system.


EMSL performs detailed, multi-stage analysis designed to identify and chart the deposition of materials on filters and membranes, as well as examination of the physical media itself for problems. Filters can be disassembled and sectioned to look at the functional surface, and cross sectioned to examine contaminants in the underlying layers or support matrix. Micro-sectioning using FIB can show the order and association of fouling materials on a nanometer scale. By using FTIR, Raman, and protein analysis, biological contaminants can be identified and charted. SEM and EDS are used to create elemental image maps showing individual phases in the contamination material. All of these resources can be used to provide comprehensive insight into a complex set of potential issues that can arise with membrane filtration and chemical treatments.


With years of experience in water filtration and purification, and understanding of the industries that use them, EMSL is dedicated to assisting the end user gain understanding and agency in maintaining or upgrading their systems. When you send your filters or membranes to EMSL for an autopsy, you can rest assured that you can get direct and impartial understanding of your problems. 


Techniques Employed
Industries Served
bottom of page