In order to ensure the production of clean and safe water throughout the whole water treatment system, the water treatment company Pentair, London, United Kingdom uses Ultrason E 6020 P. With this high-performance polyethersulfone (PESU) by BASF, ultrafiltration (UF) membranes can be produced which are used for the purification and decontamination of drinking water. Pentair employs the high-purity PESU for a wide range of X-Flow water treatment applications covering the whole water distribution line from upstream to downstream, especially for at-the-source membranes in water distribution systems of public buildings as well as in point-of-use filters for infection control in hospitals. In contrast to other materials commonly used for UF membranes like polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF), Ultrason E shows the unique combination of a high flux of water and a narrow pore size distribution. This enables UF membranes which can reliably remove parasites, bacteria and even viruses to meet drinking water standards without the need to additionally super-chlorinate the drinking water after filtration.
At-the source solution: UF membranes for water distribution lines
Pentair uses Ultrason E to produce X-Flow membranes for filtration systems of public buildings like hospitals, health centers and hotels. The systems help to avoid possible contamination of pathogenic waterborne bacteria such as legionella and pseudomonas in the water pipes, which can lead to serious health issues for the occupants. With Ultrason E as base material, a narrow pore size distribution in UF membranes can be achieved. The membranes enable the high throughput production of clean and safe potable water, free of bacteria and fungi, at low pressure in a very efficient way. Other water treatment systems such as reverse osmosis (RO) systems as well as boilers, ice machines and water coolers benefit from a better water quality.
Point-of-use solution: UF filters for infection control
The BASF PESU can also be employed in point-of-use filtration for easy and reliable protection against waterborne bacteria at the last possible moment before human contact. The unique filters for shower heads, taps and faucets are especially designed for hospitality and medical facilities, also for high-risk areas like critical wards, intensive care units or operating rooms. They consist of hollow-fiber UF membranes with microscopic pores made of Ultrason E. The pores form a very fine filter that reliably retains bacteria or fungi and thus offer protection from waterborne infection. Despite this high filtration efficiency Ultrason E allows for membranes with very high productivity, i.e. high water flux.
Ultrason E is a high-purity material with a low content of gels and oligomers ensuring stable membrane manufacturing processes. It shows low fouling tendency and can be easily cleaned as it has an outstanding chemical resistance to e.g. acids, sodium hypochlorite and caustic soda. Repeated sterilization with superheated steam (at 134°C), ethylene oxide and gamma-radiation is possible without harm to the delicate pore structures. The BASF material is usable on a wide pH-range (0-13) without degradation. It complies with FDA and European standards for food contact at repeated use so that not only drinking water contact but also food processing is possible. For a broad application range, several product types are offered to the market, e.g. Ultrason E 2020P, E 6020P and E 7020P.
Ultrason is BASF’s brand name for polyarylenesulfones. It encompasses the different product lines Ultrason S (polysulfone - PSU), Ultrason E (polyethersulfone - PESU), and Ultrason P (polyphenylenesulfone - PPSU). Ultrason is suitable for the production of membranes in a wide range of applications from ultrafiltration (UF) to nanofiltration/reverse osmosis (NF/RO) including gas separation and pervaporation membranes.