Direct Filtration

Advanced Direct Filtration system by Berghof Membranes

Think Outside the Box

Direct Ultrafiltration

The clear trend for the adoption of circular economy strategies comes with the need for the implementation of advanced technologies for waste minimization, material recovery, and water reuse. For this, tubular ultrafiltration opens up numerous possibilities for the separation, concentration and purification in a wide range of process fluids, wastewaters, and industrial streams.


Years of Experiences

Tubular membrane modules

Berghof Membranes offers tubular membrane modules of different characteristics (dimensions, cut-off, material, chemical-mechanical properties) for addressing the requirements of each specific application with the most efficient, robust and competitive solution.

UF membranes are a physical barrier for suspended and colloidal matter, emulsified oils, macromolecules and pathogens. The direct filtration with tubular membranes basically consists on the circulation of the treated fluid along the membrane tubes, with the required pressure and velocity. In this way, a clear permeate and a concentrate stream are produced. The highly robust tubular membranes are able to withstand high solids concentration, achieving maximum concentration ratios while delivering high and stable permeate fluxes.

Berghof Membranes direct filtration solutions are able to tackle though processes within a wide range of potential applications.

External Crossflow Filtration Technology​

Use of Berghof Membranes tubular UF filtration ensures complete solids retention, efficient system operation and process stability at all times.

External crossflow filtration technology from Berghof Membranes results in:

Superior effluent quality

Increased Treatment Capacity

Smaller Footprint

Low Sludge Production

Wastewater treatment and reuse

Certain wastewaters contain pollutants that can be removed with direct ultrafiltration: the permeate obtained in the UF system is free of solids, turbidity, and pathogens. Depending on the soluble components present in the wastewater and the discharge requirements, it can be released to the environment, reused, or sent to a post-treatment for removing the dissolved compounds (NF, RO).

Berghof Membranes owns proven experience in the application of direct filtration for the treatment of waste streams,  including digestate treatment in biogas plants, landfill leachate treatment, oily water treatment in the automotive industry, and many others.

Waste minimization

The concentration of waste streams with direct UF helps reduce the operating expenses related to treatment or hauling costs. Tubular UF effectively removes suspended solids and organic macromolecules from high-loaded waste streams. These liquid wastes are produced in many industrial sectors: cosmetics production, food processing, cutting-oils. The treatment is usually costly and complex and sometimes is outsourced to external waste management companies. Sludge thickening is another example of a waste minimization approach that can be addressed with Berghof Membranes.

Tubular UF is applied to concentrate the pollutants in a smaller volume, with >90% reduction in many cases. By doing this, the treatment of the high-loaded waste is highly optimized: for example, the energy consumption of evaporation is greatly reduced. In the same way, when the treatment is done off-site, the hauling and external management costs are cut to a great extent. In the same way, the permeate presents much better quality: sometimes contaminants are reduced sufficiently for discharge; if not, it can be blended with other wastewater streams generated in the facility.

Effluent polishing

As long as the water stress increases and the expenses for fresh water and discharge fees are higher, many factories are forced to implement tertiary treatment technologies for polishing the effluent from the existing WWTP. In this way, they can reuse the treated water within the industrial process, obtaining significant savings and improved sustainability.

Berghof Membranes offers tubular UF technology with 5mm membranes for tertiary treatment. The ultrafiltration system removes the suspended matter and macromolecules getting out from the existing treatment plant-based, which can be based on conventional aerobic/anaerobic processes or on physical-chemical processes. The ability of tubular membranes to handle high concentrations of solids allows the operation with high recoveries (> 95%). If salt removal is required, the UF permeate (SDI < 3) can be directly fed to an RO system.

UF coupled to chemical precipitation

The ultrafiltration membranes can be coupled to a chemical precipitation process for the removal of dissolved pollutants (heavy metals, hardness, sulfates, silica, etc.). The chemical treatment typically consists of increasing the pH, with lime or a combination of lime and soda ash, for precipitating the ionic compounds. Depending on the ions to be eliminated, additional chemicals are dosed (oxidants, MgCl2, etc.).  The tubular UF membranes are then used for removing the precipitates, producing a clear effluent. The Chemical Resistant (CR) membrane modules allow a wider pH range and are the most suited when the precipitation is carried out at high pH values.

The installation of tubular UF membranes instead of the traditional settlers and multimedia filters entails major benefits:

The potential applications of the UF coupled to the chemical precipitation are numerous, including Brine recovery for minimum or zero liquid discharge (ZLD).

Nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) are well-established technologies for softening and desalination, used for producing tap water and industrial process water. NF and RO produce significant volumes of reject – the so-called brine – that require further management due to the high TDS concentration. Our membrane-based solutions are less energy-intensive when compared to other brine recovery technologies, such as evaporation, and allow the transition from linear to a circular economy by implementing  Minimal Liquid Discharge (MLD) or even Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD).

Heavy metals removal

Wastewater containing heavy metals is generated in metal coating, semiconductors, electroplating, mining and other industries. The chemical treatment at high pH is applied for metal precipitation. Afterward, the tubular UF separates 100% of the particulate metal hydroxides, achieving very high removals even under varying influent characteristics. UF also avoids the use of coagulants and/or flocculants, thus reducing the chemical costs.

Recovery of valuable products

In some cases, the focus is not on the permeate but on the components separated by the membrane and obtained in the reject stream. Tubular UF is applied for the recovery and concentration of valuable products in several industrial processes. By selecting the adequate membrane cut-off, the specific high-molecular-weight compounds are separated and concentrated for further processing. Potential applications are multiple: intermediate and final product concentration in pharmaceutical and chemical products, dye concentration, separation of fermentation broths, whey and potato starch concentration, milk fractionation, clarification of beverages. In some cases, tubular UF is operated in diafiltration mode, with the aim of removing the dissolved compounds from the concentrate and increasing the purity of the finished product.

Delivering The Best Services


“Unique, customized solutions are the specialty of Berghof Membranes.”


With over 40 years of experience and more than 1500 project references across the globe, Berghof Membranes is the leading manufacturer of high quality tubular membranes.  

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Berghof Membranes developed B-SMART®, a customizable external membrane filtration system that can be designed with various features and functionalities. 

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Pilot systems & Lab testing

Bridging the gap between lab-scale testing and manufacturing. This gives you the confidence to apply the technology for your specific wastewater challenges.

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B-CARE® Service and Support Program

The B-CARE® program is an end-to-end comprehensive program developed to support our OEM partners from the piloting / engineering phase to operational system monitoring.

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Think outside the box

When it comes to membrane filtration, think outside the box and contact Berghof Membranes today.

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Contact Berghof Membranes

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