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Siemens Celebrates 25 Years of Membrane Innovation

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the MEMCOR membrane filtration product line of Siemens Water Technologies.

These innovative membranes have been installed in thousands of drinking water, wastewater reuse and industrial plants worldwide, offering a sustainable, reliable and cost-effective solution to these plants’ water management needs.

Where MEMCOR Began
The roots of MEMCOR membrane technology originated in Australia in the late 1970’s, and in 1983, MEMCOR (known as Memtec) was spun off from the healthcare company Baxter Travenol. By working with our many valued customers and partners over the last 25 years to engineer the world’s most innovative membrane systems, Siemens continues to lead the way with state-of-the-art products, systems and services. MEMCOR membranes are manufactured at the Siemens facility in South Windsor, Australia, where the R&D group focuses on new membrane and module development, and cost reductions for existing systems. The products are also supported at regional offices in North America, Europe, the Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Latin America.
Increased Demand for Membranes
Siemens has seen a steady increase in the demand for its MEMCOR membrane products, particularly for reuse applications. Membranes offer several advantages over conventional treatment systems, such as lower life-cycle cost and a smaller footprint. Life-cycle cost savings result from reduced process steps and chemicals required to achieve high quality water. The membranes’ compact design translates into a smaller system footprint, which becomes increasingly important to plants with limited space for expansion. Another key advantage of these membranes is the verifiable physical barrier to waterborne pathogens. With a pore-size of 0.04 micron, they provide greater than 4-log removal of Cryptosporidium, Giardia and bacteria, over 1.5-log virus rejection and a silt density index (SDI) of less than 2.0, regardless of changing feed water conditions. This high-log removal also reduces disinfection dosages required for most urban applications.
Innovative Solutions
The MEMCOR product line includes the MEMCOR CP and XP pressurized membrane filtration systems, and the MEMCOR CS and XS submerged membrane filtration systems. MEMCOR membranes are also used in Siemens’ membrane bioreactor (MBR) systems and in the innovative SkyHydrant system from the SkyJuice Foundation. These systems can be supplied as either complete skid-mounted package units for smaller capacities or custom-engineered solutions for larger capacities.

The MEMCOR CP system incorporates Siemens’ membrane innovations, more than 20 years of operational experience, and customer input. The module is designed to increase flow by over 30 percent in the same footprint, compared to traditional membrane systems. The system ensures microbial protection, achieving goals set by the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule. The MEMCOR CS system can be easily retrofitted into existing filtration plants that want to upgrade to membrane technology and more than double their capacity in the same footprint. The MEMCOR XP and MEMCOR XS packaged plants are ideal for small communities that need a compact, affordable system.

Water Reuse Installations
MEMCOR membrane systems are used worldwide to treat secondary and tertiary wastewater for reuse applications, such as irrigation and recreation and for industrial uses. The earliest example of water reuse is at Eraring Power Station, an Australian power company. The power plant is using reclaimed water treated by an integrated membrane system, including low-pressure membrane filtration and reverse osmosis. Built in 1995, the plant has the capacity to reclaim up to 7.6 million liters per day (MLD) (2.0 MGD) for the power plant, irrigation and supplemental supply during drought conditions.

One of the largest reuse systems in North America was commissioned last year at the Orange County Water District (OCWD) in California. A MEMCOR CS submerged membrane system is pretreating a reverse osmosis unit, followed by ultraviolet and hydrogen peroxide disinfection. The water purification system provides 325 MLD (86 MGD) of reclaimed water for agricultural, industrial and indirect potable use. Part of the OCWD groundwater replenishment project, the system treats secondary sewage that was previously discharged to the ocean, and turns it into a new source of very high-quality water for the more than two-million residents of Orange County.

Siemens has recently started up a wastewater reuse system in Beijing, China at the city’s Beixiaohe wastewater treatment plant. A Memjet MBR system that contains biological and membrane treatment steps treats wastewater for reuse in the Olympic Village central area, fountains and lakes. With 4,864 MEMCOR membranes, the system is one of the largest of its kind in the world, and will help the city of Beijing realize its goal of processing 90% of its wastewater, with 50% for recycle and reuse.

MEMCOR is a trademark of Siemens and/or its affiliates in some countries.
SkyJuice and SkyHydrant are trademarks of SkyJuice Foundation, Inc.
The Siemens Industry Sector is the world's leading suppler of production, transportation and building systems. Integrated hardware and software technologies combined with industry-specific solutions enable Siemens to enhance the productivity and efficiency of its customers in industry and infrastructure. The Sector comprises six Divisions: Building Technologies, Industry Automation, Industry Solutions, Mobility, Motion Control and Osram. In fiscal 2007 (ended September 30), Siemens Industry generated sales of around €40 billion (unconsolidated) with approximately 209,000 employees worldwide.

With the business activities of Siemens VAI Metal Technologies, Linz/Austria, Siemens Water Technologies, Warrendale/Pennsylvania/USA and Industry Technologies, Erlangen/Germany, the Siemens Industry Solutions Division (IS) is one of the world's leading solution and service providers for industrial and infrastructure facilities. Using its own products, systems and process technologies, IS develops and builds plants for end customers, commissions them and provides support during their entire life cycle.

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