dead-end filtration

Applied in drinking water production, effluent polishing, and as pretreatment for reverse osmosis (RO) in seawater desalination, dead-end filtration has brought membrane technology to the forefront of water treatment everywhere.

Historically, low-pressure membranes were operated in crossflow mode, in which the feedwater is pumped along the membrane and only a small portion passes through. The membrane fibers or tubes had large diameters (up to 15 mm) to accommodate the large flows needed to create  turbulence at the membrane surface. This made systems expensive and bulky.

The cost of the membranes and the energy consumption of the large recirculation pump limited this kind of filtration to small-scale and high-value applications. 

 In dead-end filtration there is no need for crossflow pumps, and the UF membrane fiber diameter can be drastically reduced. This allows for a high packing density in membrane modules, thus decreasing costs and footprint. Since all feedwater is forced through the membrane, all rejected matter (suspended solids and microbiology) will be retained on the membrane surface. 

Rejected matter has to be frequently removed by reversing the flow in backwashes. At regular time intervals, the filtration process is stopped and a small portion of the filtrate is reversed through the membrane. Additionally, a chemically enhanced backwash (CEB) is employed to remove adsorbed and precipitated contaminants from the membrane. As the cleaning frequency’s timing is critical, dead-end filtration requires fully automatic process control. If you have any questions, please contact us.

typical applications

  • Drinking water production from surface water or groundwater 
  • Process water production from surface water or the effluent from WWTPs 
  • Pretreatment for seawater desalination with reverse osmosis


  • Smaller footprint compared to media filters or crossflow membrane filtration
  • Lower energy consumption compared to crossflow filtration
  • Better product quality compared to conventional techniques 
  • 100% removal of total suspended solids (TSS) 
  • Absolute barrier against microbiology 
  • Potable water production in a single step

Featured cases

Minneapolis slider image

Minneapolis, US

Potable water production

Gotenburg slider image

gothenburg, sweden

potable water production

Claylane-London slider image

Clay Lane, United Kingdom

Potable water production

Inverness slider image

Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom

Surface water

CocaCola slider image

wakefield, united kingdom

potable water production

Shuwaikh slider image

Shuwaikh, Kuwait


Witbank slider image

Emalalheni (Witbank) South Africa

Acid mine drainage

WTE-Moscow slider image

South-West Moscow

Surface water

Enschede, Netherlands

City water


Surface water

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