A better way to treat water
Local firm's three-in-one Memshield system promises to lower monitoring costs for PUB
SINGAPORE - Water treatment companies could shave up to two-thirds off their operation costs with the development of a water monitoring system that uses one device to perform three processes that are now carried out separately.
The system - known as Memshield - is developed by Membrane Instruments and Technology (MINT), a company associated with the Nanyang Technological University. It has been purchased for trial by two companies in France and Australia and has been under testing by the PUB since February.
To ensure water quality, water treatment plants which use membrane technology have to perform three monitoring processes on a daily basis, including pressure-based tests to detect damaged membrane filters. If a damaged filter is detected, the entire section of the plant has to be shut down for a closer check to pinpoint it.
With Memshield, the same check can be done without shutting down the whole section. It can also detect broken membrane filters in the plant to an accuracy of one filter among 100,000, which current technology is unable to do.
Said MINT founder Adrian Yeo: "By replacing a defective membrane filter in time, the operator can avoid damaging downstream water treatment processes. It would also mean that individual failed filters can now be replaced as and when it is required."
Memshield reduces the time spent pinpointing a faulty filter by 75 per cent, while manpower is cut by half, translating to as much as S$200,000 in savings per year.
A PUB spokesperson said results have so far met expectations. "If it is proven to be successful, we intend to deploy it in all our micro-filtration and ultra-filtration systems in our water facilities," he said.
MINT is also looking to develop the technology further so that it can be used in reverse-osmosis water treatment.
By Woo Sian Boon
21 June 2012
MINT Managing Director Adrian Yeo and Technical Officer David Tan with Memshield 3. PHOTO COURTESY NTU