Microfiltration (MF) uses pore sizes ranging from 10 to 0.1 µm (micrometer), the largest in membrane-based filtration. Just as in ultrafiltration and nanofiltration, MF relies on pressure differences to force the liquid through the pores while retaining the larger particles. Microfiltration removes all bacteria and finds wide application in treatment processes that do not require the removal of particles smaller than 0.1 µm.  

Depending on the application and feed quality, MF membranes can be operated in either dead-end or crossflow mode. 

Microfiltration can serve as pretreatment for ultrafiltration, or as post-treatment of media filtration methods. 

Suspended particles, including sediment, algae, bacteria and protozoa such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia will be retained, whereas smaller particles such as dissolved organic matter, monovalent ions, small colloids, and most viruses will not.  

MF delivers high productivity at low pressure. The ability to efficiently remove bacteria gives MF a role in wastewater treatment processes. In the dairy industry, MF removes bacteria and spores from raw milk and separates valuable proteins as a UF pretreatment step in whey processing. MF is widely used for cold sterilisation of beverages, and for clarification of juice, wine and beer. In most large breweries worldwide, MF has replaced the traditional yeast filtering with kieselguhr. 

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